Depending on who you listen to over at CBS, Colin Kaepernick is either the worst person ever, or Muhammad Ali.
Former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason showed he can still sling the hot takes with the best of them, saying Kaepernick should be ashamed for sitting through the national anthem last week.
“I cannot say it in the strongest, most direct way, that it’s an embarrassment and it’s about as disrespectful as any athlete has ever been,” Esiason said, via Bob Glauber of Newsday. “And I don’t care what the cause is. The NFL football field is not a place for somebody to further their political ambitions. Can you imagine if a player went out on the field with a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat and let’s vote for (Donald) Trump? It’s the same thing.”
While it’s actually not, players have been making political and/or religious statements on the field for years, in far more noticeable ways that Kaepernick’s sitting, which he did for two weeks without anyone noticing because he wasn’t in uniform.
But Esiason apparently needed to bray, and trotted out the familiar themes about respect for the military and police. Of course, when Kaepernick complained about police brutality, some think the money he has made playing football makes him immune to such treatment or that he wasn’t talking about the treatment others are subject to.
“He is severely under-informed, and I welcome him to go ride in a cop car and take numerous 911 calls, going into places where guns and violence are everyday occurrences,” Esiason said. “Put on that blue [police] uniform and put the shield on and see what it’s like to put your life in harm’s way every single day, and then get back to me when you’re making $35,000 or $40,000 a year, as opposed to the $11 million he’s making.”
His CBS colleague, Bart Scott, took a more reasoned approach, saying Kaepernick’s protest was effective for one big reason — because we’re still talking about it and the issues that caused Kaepernick to do it.
“Every guy has the right to voice his opinion and his beliefs, and I support him, like any teammate should,” Scott said. “With the death of Muhammad Ali, I think it’s raising a lot of social consciousness in athletes. This icon of humanity passed, and you reflect on his life, and as a great athlete, you want to emulate that. [Kaepernick] is doing what he can do have his voice heard to speak for a movement.”
While Esiason was quick to rip Kaepernick’s timing, Scott said it was “always the right time to fight for justice and to fight for what you believe in. . . .
“It’s not equal justice and liberty for all. To stand up for what you believe in, to be willing to take the lumps and hits for what you believe in, I think he should be commended.”
Kaepernick has been by many, though Esiason won’t be one of them, not with all these people on his lawn.