Whatever word gets applied, Colin Kaepernick is getting screwed

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An unfortunate, but predictable, consequence of Marshawn Lynch‘s decision to engage in a Saturday night anthem protest is that many have pointed to Lynch’s ongoing employment as proof that this kind of behavior won’t get a guy “blackballed” by the NFL. The term “blackball” (along with “collusion”) has never made much sense when applied to Kaepernick.

The term “blackball” simply doesn’t fit. The “blackball” process allows only one member of a group to apply the kibosh — typically through a secret vote that consists of everyone drop a white ball or a black ball into the hopper. And it takes only one black ball to block a move.

The blackball process is a form of collusion, but collusion is usually more collaborative and strategic. As it relates to Kaepernick, collusion has seemed like a stretch because the owners don’t need to collude to know that a guy who fails to stand for the anthem is potentially bad for business, unless he’s really, really good at football.

Lynch proves this point. The fringe (for now) Hall of Famer won’t be cut or shunned or colluded against or blackballed because he’s really, really good at football. For a guy who isn’t clearly one of the best players in the game, participating in anthem protests is an issue. A “distraction.”

The fact that it took more than four months to get to the point that an NFL team would publicly acknowledge that Kaepernick’s unemployment may arise from concerns other than football shows that the teams realize it may not be appropriate to consider a guy exercising Constitutional rights in a way that violates neither the law nor NFL rules as a “distraction,” when countless players have gotten umpteen chances despite doing things that actually violate the rights of others.

The term “distraction,” it seems, has become code for “I don’t want this guy on my team.” For the Ravens, the potential “distraction” became even more of a “distraction” because they made it into one, awkwardly welcoming all opinions from fans and sponsors instead of making a decision based on what the team needs in order to be best positioned to win football games.

Lynch will suffer no employment consequence because he serves multiple purposes in Oakland, from making the team better to giving the locals a bright shiny object that will distract them from the reality that the Raiders are about to cram a large pointy object into a place where the sun doesn’t shine on any city. The Raiders have at all times needed Marshawn Lynch more than Marshawn Lynch needs the Raiders, so guys like coach Jack Del Rio will have to grit their teeth and deal with Lynch, even if he’s doing something Del Rio personally doesn’t like.

No one has to deal with Kaepernick because, while good enough to start, he’s no longer regarded as a star. At some point, he could become a necessity for a team with an offense that suits his style. If, for example, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson suffers a serious injury, Kaepernick likely will get a phone call.

For teams that run other systems, if/when a starter is injured we’ll hear “next man up” and “Kaepernick doesn’t know the offense” and underpinning it all will be the clumsy balance between talent and “distraction” which shouldn’t even apply here because Kaepernick shouldn’t be regarded as a “distraction” — especially since he will be standing for the anthem in 2017.

That’s why the words of Richard Sherman continue to resonate. This issue isn’t about race or football or protests or the flag. It’s about co-opting the platform owned and operated by the NFL and sparking a movement. Kaepernick’s inability to find work represents a clear message to all current and future players that they should think twice before ever stepping out of line and leading others to follow.

Especially if those don’t have the talent to trump the “distraction.”

So forget the fancy-sounding words. Kaepernick isn’t getting “blackballed,” and he isn’t the victim of “collusion.” But he clearly has gotten screwed.

85 responses to “Whatever word gets applied, Colin Kaepernick is getting screwed

  1. If Mike Glennon can get a starting job and 40 million, then Kap should have gotten one too. You cant possibly convince an unbiased football fan into thinking Glennon is a better QB than Kap.

  2. Kaep screwed hunself through pig socks, Fidel Castro support (akin to supporting Hitler), racist tweets, not voting and going 3-16 his last two years as a starter. Moreover, he’s done squat to get back in the league’s good graces. You reap what you sow, kids.

  3. Honest question. What is Kaepernick doing at this point to make himself attractive to teams? I honestly don’t know. Is he practicing at a training center? Is he doing anything other than sending occasional messages through his spokespeople regarding his interest in playing and not protesting this year?

  4. Finally figured it out eh. He’s not good enough to justify the distraction and downside. Perfectly legitimate reason to not hire him just like any other business decision.

  5. Any employer can decide not to hire you over your social media presence.

    Show me Lynch’s pig socks, Castro love, slavery posts, and America hate and then they will be equivalent.

  6. Kap had a contract with the 49’ers which HE opted out of. So the blame for him not having a job rests squarely on his own shoulders.

    Kap screwed Kap.

  7. “This issue isn’t about race or football or protests or the flag. It’s about co-opting the platform owned and operated by the NFL and sparking a movement.”

    Chris Kluwe might agree with these words.

  8. Now, I thought there was a post here weeks ago stating that until Kap comes out to talk on his own, the topic is considered over.

    And didn’t PFT land agree the good folks here will never be able to let it go?

    Annnnd still going…

  9. Kaepernick isn’t getting “blackballed,” and he isn’t the victim of “collusion.” But he clearly has gotten screwed.

    by us, the Fans.

  10. So forget the fancy-sounding words. Kaepernick isn’t getting “blackballed,” and he isn’t the victim of “collusion.” But he clearly has gotten screwed.
    Mike Florio – would you hire a guy who you knew would do controversial acts while on company time wearing a company uniform? Acts that could lead your parent company and its sponsors to take their sponsorship money and look elsewhere because they did not agree with the controversial acts your potential new hire may do while on company time wearing company uniform? You really want to hire a guy that would cost your company money and potentially your job?

    No? You don’t want to hire that guy now? But wait…you called it blackballing before you realized it could potentially cost you your job for hiring him as well as cost your company money in sponsorship dollars. Wait Mike, wait…not that it could impact YOU whats it called? Good business sense?

  11. He did it to himself. I dont feel sorry for him one bit.
    Keep Kaeperneck out !!!
    Make America Great Again!!!

  12. Actually he’s not. He exercised his freedom of speech, which is his right. And the owners/GMs are choosing to not sign him. Which is their right.

  13. Kap made his own bed with supporting dictators and BLM, railing on the police, etc. He’s not getting screwed, he’s just warped….

  14. Kap got what he has coming. He should of made sure he could play football first before acting out. He isnt worth the headache. Marshon Lynch may be on his way out, while he can play, it isnt worth all that. Dont disrespect our country and think we will let that slide. Not going to happen.

  15. Lynch has been a good football player right up to the last day he was seen on the filed while Kaepernick has been a bad and regressing on for several years now? Could that posdibly be a fa tour. Hmmmmmmm.

  16. Or most teams would rather have a team first player while holding a clip board, and if anyone thinks Kaep is actual starter quality QB that person is a fool. Gore, Willis and that defense got the 49ers to the SB. 49ers might have another ring if they kept Alex Smith or drafted a better one.

  17. If it’s not collusion, if every owner is independently making a business decision, then what is your solution?

    And how is his unemployment any different than Greg Hardy’s?

  18. The people who are getting screwed are the men and women of the military and law enforcement and their families. People in this country are sick and tired of little racist crybaby idiots like Kaepernick and the leftist media that holds them up as heroes and martyrs!

  19. I support Kap’s right to protest and have no problem with it, but the owners also have the right not to employ him. Its one thing to protest, but then to add in the pig socks and Castro love while not bothering to vote and exercise the right that we all have to change the system he seems a bit hypocritical to me.

  20. Kaepernick opted out of his contract.
    If he hadn’t, he would have been released.
    When he was given the opportunity to play last year, he agreed to void his injury guarantee.
    The 49ers used him last year as the option better than Gabbert, and he used the 49ers to try to have a season worth signing on a new team next year.
    Kaepernick was brave, but like Ali, Flood, and others, the system can’t be beat. it’s had a lot of practice.

  21. “So forget the fancy-sounding words. Kaepernick isn’t getting “blackballed,” and he isn’t the victim of “collusion.” But he clearly has gotten screwed”

    All this time and you have finally gotten most of the way to where the thinking portion of NFL fandom has been since the beginning. It has always been about fan backlash and not owner blackballing or collusion. The owners are simply doing what they have always done and making their decisions based on what really matter$ to them. Now if you could just get the rest of the way here by realizing Kaepernick screwed himself maybe you wouldn’t sound so willfully obtuse. How can you ignore the pig socks, hate tweets, Castro loving and not voting in your determination that Kaepernick ‘got screwed’ by anyone but himself? The reason he is held in so much contempt and the other protesters are not is his own ignorance, hypocrisy and dilettantism.

  22. kayes says:
    August 13, 2017 at 2:12 pm
    If Mike Glennon can get a starting job and 40 million, then Kap should have gotten one too. You cant possibly convince an unbiased football fan into thinking Glennon is a better QB than Kap.


    Why do you believe Kaepernick would be a better choice than Glennon for the Bears starting quarterback. What specific skill set does Kaepernick show that would make him a better fit for the Bears?

  23. Kap fell for a BS media lie. The fact is that blacks are not shot by police at a higher rate than other races. As a matter of fact a Harvard study concluded they are shot at a slightly lower rate when you factor in their share of violent crime in this country. Blacks commit 47-53% of all murders and 28-32% of all violent crime but are subjects of only 26% of all police shootings. Just google FBI table 43 to back my numbers up.

  24. Kaepernick is either the biggest fool or a complete hypocrite and perhaps both. The erstwhile champion of the oppressed wears a Castro shirt, when Castro executed his own people for being gay or sent them to prison camps.

    The individualist, who is expressing his “Constitutional rights” is the same person who idolizes Castro and Guevara? How can that be when Guevara’s stated goal was to “make individualism disappear from the nation!” Who stated at the United Nations, “Executions? Certainly, we execute! And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary!”

    Guevara the racist who held a special disdain for black?

    I guess it makes sense. Castro was self proclaimed the Anti-Fascist and we can easily surmise that Kaepernick is wearing his Antifa mask right now “protesting” for the destruction of Western society.

    The NFL is in the entertainment business. Kaepernick in the antithesis of everything the fans of the NFL believe. Blackballed? No. Shutout and shunned because of his own individual proclamations. The irony isn’t lost on me.

  25. How do you know Lynch is protesting anything? Until you hear it from his mouth you should probably stop stating he’s protesting.

  26. Kap’s problems are of his own making and there is no conspiracy to keep him out of the league. The truth is he sucks. And while were at it, I hope lynch is cut before the season starts. It’s high time the NFL says enough of this nonsense

  27. CK isn’t a social justice warrior, he slandered police and expressed support for a murderous terrorist dictator. Don’t cloak him as some civil rights crusader.

  28. He is a naive kid who acted naively and made a couple bad business decisions. Now he needs to find another line of work. He surely can, as he has a college degree & a great deal of name recognition. I don’t see any reason to be surprised or upset that no NFL franchise will hire him.

  29. couchbasher says:
    August 13, 2017 at 2:32 pm
    I hope Lynch faces the same consequences as Colin Kaepernick.

    You mean have his employment or lack of based on his performance or lack of? Thats actually how its going to work out so you are good.

  30. Nobody’s rights are being violated, Kap chose his path and turns out it didn’t go over well with fans and owners, i.e. the ones that pay (paid) his salary. Move on

  31. RG3, Kapernick, and Tebow are jobless. Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton have jobs. Make this black, white, politics, and blackballing all you want but the fact is 3 are competent pocket passer and three are not. If the league didn’t want uppity ingrates Cam Newton would have been the first to lose his job.

  32. Every year some player is handed the ultimate dream job to play in the NFL and he pisses it away. Kaep screwed himself by losing his job to white boy Blaine Gabbert, personally protesting his demotion to the bench, and then passing it off as a global statement to make it appear he did it for others.

  33. Lol….. He stinks…. & he had a team to play for but chose not to stay there…..he screwed himself, his baggage & lack of talent far outweigh his ability to bring an upgrade to ANY franchise…… Now he can sit, raise a fist, or do whatever he likes while buying a nose bleed seat at ANY game he’d like to attend…..
    Go Pats!!!!

  34. Lynch has done one thing similiar to Kap. It also appears he’s done it for a different reason. Not as a form of protest, probably just apathy. Not that apathy in this area is a good thing.

    But the similarities end there. As mentioned above Kap did many other things to alienated the NFL fan base. (and don’t think Lynch hasn’t doe that too. Not everyone loves his antics. He’s just alienated fewer over the years)

    But there is one other similarity that PFT is ignoring. Kap was not cut when he sat during the anthem. As mentioned above it was after the season was over that he (Kap) ended the contract. So why is anyone expecting Lynch to be cut “just like Kap?” Lynch not being cut for sitting would be consistentant with what “was (not) done to Kap.

  35. The owners have a product to sell. Consumers won’t buy the product when someone who represents the product acts in a way that turns off consumers. Why can no one understand that football is a business? Look at any corporation who has an employee spout off inappropriately on social media. What is the first thing that happens? The employee is fired. Will that person be hired by another company in that industry? Highly unlikely.

  36. It’s amazing how many people feel threatened by a black man with an opinion.
    Such snowflakes.
    Of course what do you expect?
    These are the many of the same people that feel they need an AR-15 on their shoulder to shop at Walmart.

  37. Florio , I dare you to write an article defending the pig socks. He’s getting exactly what he deserves. I’m white and 52 years old, and other than a few traffic stops, I’ve had to deal with law enforcement ONCE in my life. Why does the black community continually find themselves in situations where the police are involved? Fix that problem and the whole thing goes away. I’m certainly not condemning all blacks , and some police are bad guys, but continued disrespect of the police is the problem. Obey the laws and when 911 is called and then maybe they will be appreciated for risking their lives every day. Perhaps if Kaepernick needs 911 they should route his call to a farm , so the “pigs” can come to his aid.

  38. Kaep’s talent dose not exceed the crap he brings to a team, let’s face it he is not a good QB!

  39. Here’s something to think about.
    Kaepernick isn’t demonstrating on the field right now, and yet he’s still a distraction. He’s in the press every day, he’s got Spike Lee not attending a protest he does support though, and he’s still blasting away on his Twitter feed with hateful, bigoted and borderline racist posts.
    The issue with him isn’t about what he did on the field. This is one reason why other guys who knelt for the anthem still have jobs and he doesn’t.
    There are rumors floating around that Kaepernick turned down a contract to play in the NFL. Will you investigate that? This would seem to poke a big hole in the narrative that the NFL owners are the only ones keeping him out of a job in the NFL.

  40. He’s absolutely NOT getting screwed. He made a statement that he had every right to make and he’s reaping the consequences of his behavior. Being a pro-football player is not a right on any level. When any of us go for a job these days, the first thing that employers do is search us on social media to see if they can get a glimpse into how we operate. If they look and they see a disruptive chucklehead, you are likely to get passed over.

    It’s also not about whether or not he is better than other QB’s in this league who have jobs (which he is), it’s about if the distraction that comes with him is worth his ability to help a team win. When that negative distraction outweighs his worth as an player, then he gets passed by.

  41. Funny, why don’t you talk bout Riley Cooper getting blackballed by NFK OWNERS? 6’4, 230, 4.5 /49 still, good hands. But no opportunities. Where is the equal time? Any ideas why?

  42. I think the sucking at his job at record levels for 3 years is costing him more than the kneeling.

    All the other kneelers are in camp because they have value on the football field. Know your value, then pop off.

  43. In WW2, the over 400,000 soldiers died fighting. Almost 300,000 British died, as well as 200,000 French. The Russians lost 8.7 million soldiers (some historians say it was as high as 14 million. Many smaller countries also sacrificed greatly.

    Both Germany and Japan had plans for world conquest. Both were fearsome fighting forces. Both were notoriously brutal to the people that they captured.

    If either had succeeded, there probably wouldn’t have been a future for black people in the USA. Who knows what would have been in store for them.

    With that said, I think people should put things in context, and therefore standing for and respecting the flag is a no-brainer.

  44. You continuing to scream for him to be employed yet not mentioning his cops are pigs socks, or his fidel castro endorsement…is disingenuous. It isnt about just the anthem its about all of those things. He provoked this response from fans and the NFL. He isn’t getting screwed he is getting what he deserves. You want to use the NFL stage to voice your opinion while not being considerate that NFL is a privilege not a right…then so be it. Honestly the dude defended Fidel and we are supposed to be feel bad for him?

  45. As much as I don’t care for Kaepernick on, or off, the field I do question teams’ motives all in all.

    That said, the major difference between Kap and Marshawn is Marshawn is likable (except to Mr. Florio, ironically).

    Kap never was likable. Even the Niner fanbase didn’t seem to rally behind him, while he was winning, even.

    Fair is sometimes irrelevant. In this case I don’t think it is but just imagine Johnny Manziel trying to protest something… it’d be a farce… sometimes it’s not simply enough to be a celebrity, you gotta be a celebrity with a level of admiration from the public’s eye to get away with this.

    …just trying to be practical here.

  46. Where to start? Perhaps with the fact that this is a multi-million-dollar business, and you’re right: Kaepernick is not really, really good at football. So why would teams bother blackballing a mediocre player? If one of the few teams that run his style offense needs a backup in an emergency, yeah, he’ll get a call. Isn’t that how the business works? The man walked away from $14.5 million in injury guarantees, but his champions keep insisting he’s a victim. Of what? No one ever said free speech doesn’t have consequences. No one ever said you have a right to mouth off in your workplace and shove your opinions down the throats of your customers. Kaepernick is a mediocre player paying the price for being mediocre and attracting negative attention to the business. That’s not a tragedy, that’s life. And if Goodell were half the great administrator he pretends to be, he’d end this politicking on the football field by requiring players to either stand up for the anthem or stay in the locker room. No private business is required to allow its employees to exercise their Constitutional right to protest during its working hours. If Lynch and Kaepernick want to be noble, tell them to get their butts to Virginia and stand up to the Nazis.

    It’s perfectly idiotic to insist that a man who walked away from $14.5 million in injury guarantees was “screwed.” It’s perfectly idiotic to be holding fundraisers or whatever you want to call them for that man and making him the center of attention. It’s all about Colin and Marshawn. Meanwhile, everyone has forgotten John Crawford III, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Corey Jones, Jordan Edwards, Walter Scott, and all the other innocent victims Kaepernick claimed he was interested in publicizing. This was never about them. It was always about him.

  47. Kap did not spark a movement. He made a selfish statement while ona team’s payroll and created a distraction for the team. Any other company he would not be employed either. He is a prime example how to self destruct. He is not worth anyone’s time… please stop keeping him in the press and supporting his issues. Nice Nelson Mendella shirt BTW. Totally supports his narrative doesn’t it??!!

  48. I don’t even think Marshawn was protesting anything. Marshawn just does what he wants. I’m going to guess he was sitting down, eating a banana not out of protest but because Marshawn does whatever he wants.

    I wouldn’t look too much into it, unless he specifically comes out and says he is protesting. Kap is not on a team because Kap runs a zone option read offense, like RG3 did. Take them out of that scheme and they aren’t very good.

    Again, #Keeppoliticsoutofsports

  49. Maybe Lynch is not standing for the anthem to protest the fact that Kaepernick has no job. None of us would put it past him. He’s been known to pull stunts. This one is not going to work and it’s hard to believe that Lynch isn’t doing this to support Kaepernick. It’s still no reason for a team to sign a back up quarterback who will be a distraction and center of media attention even if he does nothing. The damage has been done.

  50. Why don’t you sign him Mike? You write a story about him every day…Fans don’t want to see him,owners don’t want to pay a back up qb with a chip on his shoulder that wants starters money………..

  51. He hasn’t gotten screwed. He made the decision to kneel for anthem, wear pig socks, call cops “slave patrols”, and wear Castro T-Shirt in Miami. He had every right to do all that. Owners also have every right not to hire him because they don’t want to deal with the media distraction that comes with signing a guy with all that baggage. If he was a good player (like Marshawn or Malcolm Jenkins), they’d take the baggage with the production. But their not gonna take the baggage for an unproductive back-up. “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” If Lawrence Taylor was a back-up OLB, Parcells would have cut his butt in a heartbeat. This is nothing new – it’s weighing the pros and cons – and with Kaepernick, the cons definitely outweigh the pros.

  52. Here’s the problem. WE THE PEOPLE believe that KAEPERNICK is the racist here, and an America-hater as well. Not to mention a monumental hypocrite, as a guy who SHOULD be set for life after just a few years playing a sport in the country he hates.

    If KAEPERNICK is getting “screwed,” it’s the man himself doing his own “screwing.” We don’t appreciate communist filth here in the USA. It’s the last thing we need as we try to heal our nation after the most racially divisive president th US has ever seen.

    We don’t want him. We are fans. Teams need fans. Therefore they don’t want him either. The logic is simple.

  53. In fairness, Lynch is a guy who averaged nearly 5 yards a carry in 2014 and has the potential to do that again

    He’s also not a QB – a position viewed as the team leader

    So is Lynch’s production worth the distraction? It appears so.

    Is Kaepernick’s mediocre production worth the distraction, as a QB/team leader?

    It seems the consensus is “no”

    I fully support Kaep in his right to protest – I generally even agree that he’s “right” to protest (no one can deny racism is alive and well)

    But the bottom line is, if Kaep were a better QB he’d have a job

    The NFL is pretty “fair” in that respect. If you win, there’s a place for you.

  54. FoozieGrooler says:
    August 13, 2017 at 3:27 pm
    It’s amazing how many people feel threatened by a black man with an opinion.
    Such snowflakes.
    Of course what do you expect?
    These are the many of the same people that feel they need an AR-15 on their shoulder to shop at Walmart.

    What a racist comment!

  55. Two points that I haven’t seen yet…
    Kaep was only a good QB when Harbaugh was his coach. Since Harbaugh left, Kaep has been below average. Also, Kaep didn’t op out of his $15 Million salary – he was given the choice to op out or be released. He chose to save face and op out. He was not going to be on the 49ers team beyond that point either way.
    Second, I believe this is all been part of Kaep’s struggles to find himself. He was a black child adopted by wealthy white parents. He was raised in an affluent area. I think he is trying to figure out who he is – and is really trying to help the black community that wasn’t given the same advantages he had. Is he feeling guilty that he was a black kid in a wealthy family? I’m not psychiatrist, but I really think something like this is in play with Kaep. He is just a confused kid trying to find himself…

  56. I’ve never disagreed that the league, as a whole, doesn’t like making waves with their fans. And signing Kaepernick falls into that category. But I have always disagreed with the asinine idea that it’s his skin color that is the problem. Thank god we have finally closed the book on that one. Anyone who immediately went to skin tone with their thoughts, is part of the problem. That summarizes 2017 America. More divided than it has been in the last 30 years. Not because of Trump. Not because of Whitey. But because people immediately cite race when they don’t like something. It’s a never ending, daily grind of finding that “gotcha” moment. So people can point and say “see, white people are still racist”. We know there are racist people, we don’t need proof. When people start giving the benefit of the doubt, we will make progress. That’s a two way street. But if your first thought even acknowledges skin color (white, black, brown, green, pink, whatever) you’re pathetic and youre the problem. Judging White people on their whiteness and assuming they are racist is pathetic. Judging black people on their blackness is pathetic. Etc

  57. Kaepernick not worth distraction. Okay. NFL owners didn’t think white supremacists would be a distraction if Trump was elected? They saw no danger signs when Trump campaigned?

    Weren’t they paying attention? Americans were mowed down this weekend by an American. Not terrorist from the Middle East.

    I will never ever understand why racists get a free pass in this country, even going so far as electing one as our president while anything to do with a wacko over the hill communist in Cuba makes peoples blood boil here in the USA.

    Dangerous times when even a Bob Kraft supports Trump.

  58. Of course he’s getting screwed and don’t give me that crap about his comments, especially given the league we’re talking about. If the rapists, robbers, murderers, wife beaters, drunk drivers and dog torturers who have been in this league haven’t hurt the brand of “The Shield”, then Kaep would pale in comparison.

  59. Part of the rights he was protesting in favor of includes the rights of business owners and bosses to hire whom they choose. They haven’t chosen him (whatever the reason) and that is their right.

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