NFL reportedly sought public opinion on Colin Kaepernick in 2017

Getty Images

Regardless of whether multiple teams regarded Colin Kaepernick as a starting quarterback in 2017 and 2018 (they did), Kaepernick’s collusion case holds no water absent proof of coordination among the NFL’s teams to keep him unemployed.

And while the smoking gun has yet to be obtained (or, if obtained, yet to be leaked), there’s at least the faint sound of an arrow whizzing toward a target.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports that the NFL commissioned a public-opinion poll in 2017 that sought input on, among other things, whether Kaepernick should be signed by a team.

The poll was conducted, per Robinson, by the outside consulting firm co-founded by Joe Lockhart, who at the time was serving as the NFL’s executive V.P. of communications. The data was sent to Commissioner Roger Goodell and other high-ranking executives.

The real question is whether the data also was sent to teams, and whether that data contributed to Kaepernick’s ongoing unemployment. Common sense suggests that the league wouldn’t simply be gathering information to satisfy a sense of curiosity confined to 345 Park Avenue.

If the information was indeed shared, this is precisely the kind of coordination that could become proof of collusion. It’s one thing for a team to conduct fan polling on signing a player. It’s quite another for the league to do it, because this implies that the league is using its position of influence to ensure uniformity and consistency among the clubs (i.e., collusion) when it comes to matters of player employment.

79 responses to “NFL reportedly sought public opinion on Colin Kaepernick in 2017

  1. Malcolm Jenkins is a coward if he does not go to the White House ,,could you imagine where we would be today if MLK turned down invitations to the White House !!!!

  2. Collusion requires an actual explicit or tacit agreement, not research into information which would lead any normal person to the same conclusion. Sharing that research does not compel anyone to agree to anything.

  3. My guess is this information is kept in a giant Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouse next to the crates filled with 2015 league wide psi data.

  4. So Trump and his supporters can attack our law enforcement every day all day claiming injustice, but a kneeling black athlete is called anti police by these same people and the media and league runs with it….

  5. because this implies that the league is using its position of influence to ensure uniformity and consistency among the clubs (i.e., collusion) when it comes to matters of player employment.
    —————————————————

    So? they’ve always done this on numerous matters – drug use, criminal actions, PED, equipment used, salaries, number of players on a team, color of uniforms, on field cell phone use, post game comments about officials, post game attire, etc etc etc etc.

  6. The NFL is a continuous exhibition in rich people getting what they want regardless of the legality or fairness of the issue. This case can have all the common sense it wants, short of a video taped conversation of Rodgah telling all 30 owners that they cannot sign Kaepernick nothing is coming of this.

  7. It’s not proof of collusion. It’s proof that everyone sees him as a distraction. Gauging public opinion does not mean an individual team wouldn’t sign him.

    Proof is all owners communicating to each other saying to not sign him.

    Absent that, there’s no case. And since owners didn’t need to get together to realize he’s a mediocre QB that brings distractions, there’s never been a case. Let’s also no my forget that Kaepernick chose to become a free agent years ago. He may have ultimately been cut, but we’ll never know since he chose to not hav3 an employer.

  8. Getty Images
    Regardless of whether multiple teams regarded Colin Kaepernick as a starting quarterback in 2017 and 2018 (they did),

    ———-

    No Mike…..you did…..the teams did not.

    Let it go man.

  9. I hope CK7 brings that entire cartel of slimy, selfish billionaires to their knees. I hope it’s public and painful. I promise you, I won’t shed a single tear for any of those fat cats in the executive suites.

  10. I can’t wait until the collusion case is proven and the CBA is negated. No CBA = No Football. No football = Tens of thousands of people without paychecks. Executives, Players, Coaches, trainers, security, concessions, ticket personnel, custodians, parking attendants… The list goes on and on. We’ll see how everyone feels about Kaepernick when thousands of black people suddenly become unemployed because the CBA is negated and no games are played. Kaepernick is a social Justice hero but in reality he is throwing a temper tantrum that will only benefits himself and has the potential hurt thousands of people. I now understand his love of Fidel Castro. They’ll both be responsible for the impoverishment of many people

  11. These people need to get out of the ultra-Left New York/LA bubble and talk to normal NFL fans. SJW-thinking always proves disastrous for business. Always. The sooner the NFL realizes it the better.

  12. If true that would be a important fact for Kaepernick. Thou when you said that Joe Lockhart was the one who did this it sounds to me like he set the league up. As we are finding out with recent news, the Left is good at these types of things. Maybe that explains why the NFL no longer uses his firm services.

  13. Please explain how Colin not getting signed by the Ravens because his socially “woke” & tolerant girlfriend tweeting the Raven’s owner Mr. Bisciotti is like a slave owner constitutes collusion?

  14. If you want to kneel regarding the American flag,Then go to Syria or Iraq, where the real Americans hero’s are protecting your life and freedom. Kap needs to go over seas and see what these hero’s do day in and day out to protect his sorry ass!!

  15. Again, how in the world does this prove collusion? The league sanctioning a poll that includes, among other things, one question about Kaep doesn’t prove the league decided as a whole not to employ Kaep. How man questions were on the poll? What were the other questions? Why was the poll conducted? Is it something done regularly. Maybe enough teams wanted to know public opinion that the league went ahead and did the leg work for them. It still does not prove it was a coordinated decision not to sign him. All it shows is that the league was concerned, among other things, how the fans viewed him.

  16. I hope CK7 brings that entire cartel of slimy, selfish billionaires to their knees. I hope it’s public and painful. I promise you, I won’t shed a single tear for any of those fat cats in the executive suites.

    _————————-

    see, now this is exactly why the kaep loving, starbucks hating, hashtag accumulating, life is unfair crowd will eventually lose out. The seething, frothing at the mouth, irrational hatred just can’t be sustained. And even if it could rational people would eventually just get tired of the spectacle and move on.

  17. “The NFL is a continuous exhibition in rich people getting what they want regardless of the legality or fairness of the issue.”

    Legality is one thing, while explicit collusion is barred by the CBA, that doesn’t make it illegal – so I question your understanding of it. However I’m not sure the league owner have done anything illegal as of recent. The CTE issue dating back to Dr. Omalu is pretty disgusting, but by and large the NFL is a business and is acting as a multi billion dollar business would. Making itself concerned with it’s bottom line and the most closely related factors to that.
    Fairness is a whole ‘nother issue. Simply put, you are never – ever guaranteed or should expect “fairness”. That is incredibly silly and from your youngest age you should be taught that fairness is not an expectation. It is absolutely how you should treat people, but you should never hold that up as an excuse for why or how you should get something. If the league were fair, every player would make the same pay based on set wages for position, playing time, etc -not contracts – because that’s fair. Teams would not be able to cut players and players would not be able to individually negotiate terms – because that’s fair. We could go on and on down that rabbit hole for ever. It’s just not realistic.

  18. I speak for every patriot with a pulse, we love him. Please get Kaepernick back in the NFL, where he belongs.
    ———————————-
    I speak for every patriot with a pulse AND a brain. kaepernick does not belong in the NFL.

  19. The league has done surveys on smoking at the stadium & excessive drinking ( cutting off beer sales after halftime or 3rd Qtr )
    and other issues that maybe of concern to their customers. ( and may cause them to stay away ) Why is asking opinions about kneeling different ?
    Marketing 101 Find out what your customers want and give it to them.

  20. You mean a multi-billion dollar business went to the paying customers and potential paying customers to gauge reactions instead of simply consulting this website? Oh the humanity!

  21. Fascinating. So collecting information to make data-driven decisions is “collusion” now.

  22. I don’t understand why everyone is so fired up about Kaepernick, who is the only one of the kneelers to actually kneel for something, and is the only one that has actually donated time and money to various causes. Meanwhile, the rest of the kneelers, who have yet to articulate just what it is they are kneeling for, get a free pass.

  23. All of you realize he turned down 3 offers a year and half ago? Doesn’t seem like he really wants to play again.

  24. Big self-inflicted wound by the NFL. By forcing issues where people have differing opinions – rightfully different I would add – is a. dictatorial and b. very predictably leads to further erosion of television ratings. This is far more about lack of principles of filthy rich owners afraid of losing their business’ privileged tax status than about the principles themselves; after all had they stuck to such principles before they would not have waited until a populist president called them out.
    Would love to see the boycott of the NFL after all this.

  25. Poor Kaep… Living in his gated community next to those evil white people. Just so sad…

  26. Kind of like polling all former Cowboys All-Stars such as Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin whether Dez Bryant should be fired and, based on their collective opinion and on that opinion alone, making a determination that Bryant should be dismissed from the team.

    That alone would constitute Collusion.

  27. I am interested in the “source” that claims teams still view Colon as a viable starting QB.

    I am guessing that this source is Colon or his lawyer.

    The NFL would not risk a court case if they thought anything was there. The case would have been settled OOC long ago if that was the case. The NFL does not risk losing in court.

    As things are, Colon is a QB nearing 30 who hasn’t seen game action or a formal practice AT ANY LEVEL in almost two years. Add in that even at his advanced age, Colon has yet to show he can read a D or do anything more than make one read and then run.

    Even if by some stretch of the imagination Colon wins in the lower court, add in a few more years for appeals and he is going to be 35.

    Dude really needs to follow the Manziel model of staying out of the spotlight for a while and then going north to try to show he can play and not be a distraction.

  28. Malcolm Jenkins is a coward if he does not go to the White House ,,could you imagine where we would be today if MLK turned down invitations to the White House !!!!

    _________________________________________________

    It’s just a photo op, there wouldn’t be any big discussions even if he went. He’s been before, he knows what happens there

  29. Please list the teams who currently consider Kaepernick a starting-level QB? And don’t include teams that already have a long-term solution at QB.

  30. If Kaep really wanted to play football, he’d be signed with the Seahawks already. If I’m not mistaken, they offered him a contract that he refused because one of the stipulations was that he would have to agree not to kneel during the anthem.

  31. greenandblue63 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 11:29 am

    All of you realize he turned down 3 offers a year and half ago? Doesn’t seem like he really wants to play again.
    ——————

    He didn’t get any offers.

  32. youngnoizecom says:
    May 24, 2018 at 10:49 am
    I speak for every patriot with a pulse, we love him. Please get Kaepernick back in the NFL, where he belongs.

    No you do not. No he does not.

  33. If the objective of this is Kaepernick to somehow get a settlement it is not going to happen. For one the NFL will go to the wall so as not to set a precedent for players to extort money from them in the future. The NFL has more lawyers, better lawyers and more money than Kap. For two collusion is not a crime. Only in rare cases involving antitrust law. As a lawyer yourself Mike I can assume you probably know that.

  34. If the NFL or one of the owners told all the other owners not to hire CK “or else” do you really think that could be kept secret? I know you think the Rothschilds control the weather and all that but take a breath on the conspiracy theories.

    CK had offers but didn’t like the terms – he thinks he is an elite talent, not a middling QB who would drive fans away. Injustice exists in this country but this is not a good example. Sterling Brown is a much better example.

  35. kcl10 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 10:39 am
    I hope CK7 brings that entire cartel of slimy, selfish billionaires to their knees. I hope it’s public and painful. I promise you, I won’t shed a single tear for any of those fat cats in the executive suites.

    Why wait? There are a few communist countries where everyone feels the same way. But you’re OK with greedy, self centered, America hating millionaires?

  36. Asking if the NFL owners colluded is like asking if Trump and the Russians colluded. In the latter, ask the fellas who’ve been indicted and the ones who’ve entered guilty pleas. In the former, ask the coaches and owners who have admitted that Kaepernick should be a starting NFL QB.

  37. donth8mecauseimwhite says:
    May 24, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    To those who assert that Kaepernick did not receive any offers, please check NBCSports 4/5/16 by Mindi Bach. He did get an offer from Denver but declined it.
    ——————-

    That was a potential trade while he was still under contract with the 49ers, so no, he did not receive and decline any offers as a free agent.

  38. brunson80 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 11:58 am

    If Kaep really wanted to play football, he’d be signed with the Seahawks already. If I’m not mistaken, they offered him a contract that he refused because one of the stipulations was that he would have to agree not to kneel during the anthem.
    ——————

    You’re mistaken. Why wouldn’t Kaepernick be able to kneel with the rest of the kneelers on the Seahawks?

  39. Honestly, the only reason to kerp those findings secret is if the majority voted no on him. Because otherwise it would have supported a narrative they were trying to run in those days, and so would have been published all over the place.

  40. mmack66 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 12:08 pm
    greenandblue63 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 11:29 am

    All of you realize he turned down 3 offers a year and half ago? Doesn’t seem like he really wants to play again.
    ——————

    He didn’t get any offers.

    ——————-
    I know he did get one from Denver. Also having the Ravens willing to talk terms I think counts. It wasnt the Ravens fault nor choice for there be a sudden public media atrack on their owner ciming from the Kaepernick side. And in Seattles case they were willing to go that route but Kaepernick was saying he would not commit to following all of the terms of the deal, which is his choice but not the teams fault if thats what he chooses.

  41. mmack66 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 1:36 pm
    donth8mecauseimwhite says:
    May 24, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    To those who assert that Kaepernick did not receive any offers, please check NBCSports 4/5/16 by Mindi Bach. He did get an offer from Denver but declined it.
    ——————-

    That was a potential trade while he was still under contract with the 49ers, so no, he did not receive and decline any offers as a free agent.

    —————
    Actually you are technically correct, but the trade was contingent on Kaepernick being willing to sign a new deal which he refused. So it was still a case of him getting an offer and him saying he did not like the terms. At that point in time he believed himself to be worth more than Denver offered. It was completely his perogative to make that decision too even if things did not subsequently unfold the way he thought they would.

  42. Six of 11 stories on the front page of this site currently deal with the anthem. Say, what time does Hardball with Chris Matthews come on this website since it’s not a political site, not a football site?

  43. Six of 11 stories on the front page of this site currently deal with the anthem. Say, what time does Hardball with Chris Matthews come on this website since it’s now a political site, not a football site?

  44. neatpete1 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Actually you are technically correct, but the trade was contingent on Kaepernick being willing to sign a new deal which he refused. So it was still a case of him getting an offer and him saying he did not like the terms.
    ——————–

    No one cares about his offers when he was still under contract with the 49ers.

    He was guaranteed to make $11.9 million from the 49ers, no matter what, and $14+ million the next season, if he was on the roster, which at that point, was still a reality, so why would he give up a potential $26 million to maybe make $14 million?

  45. Kaepernick visited the Ravens. Google and find out what happened after that!

  46. mmack66 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 2:21 pm
    neatpete1 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Actually you are technically correct, but the trade was contingent on Kaepernick being willing to sign a new deal which he refused. So it was still a case of him getting an offer and him saying he did not like the terms.
    ——————–

    No one cares about his offers when he was still under contract with the 49ers.

    He was guaranteed to make $11.9 million from the 49ers, no matter what, and $14+ million the next season, if he was on the roster, which at that point, was still a reality, so why would he give up a potential $26 million to maybe make $14 million?

    ———————
    Because the 49rs had made it clear they were not going to pay him that money. When people say he chose to walk away from his 49rs contract thats the justification for saying it was not actually a choice he gad available to make. If thats not true and he did have the option of just staying on the 49rs for that money then that means he refused his 49rs contract of his own free will. So one way or another he refused a contract opportunity. I personally feel he refused the Denver one and was forced on the 49rs one, but you are free to pick which way you want to gave it. Just cant be both.

  47. I see a $100MM or settlement being offered by the NFL to Kaepernick in the coming weeks and Eric Reid will miraculously be hired on a team as well. Now that they got a go-forward policy – they need to cover their tracks and pretend there were never a wickedly racist bigoted organization.

  48. neatpete1 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Because the 49rs had made it clear they were not going to pay him that money. When people say he chose to walk away from his 49rs contract thats the justification for saying it was not actually a choice he gad available to make. If thats not true and he did have the option of just staying on the 49rs for that money then that means he refused his 49rs contract of his own free will. So one way or another he refused a contract opportunity. I personally feel he refused the Denver one and was forced on the 49rs one, but you are free to pick which way you want to gave it. Just cant be both.
    ———————-

    You need to go back and check the timeline, because that Denver deal was for 2016 and 2017, and Kaepernick played for the 49ers in 2016 and opted out of his contract in 2017, after he found out they were going to release him. At the time of the Denver offer, he didn’t know he was going to be released by the 49ers, so to take the Denver offer would mean he would give up a lot of money.

  49. mmack66 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 2:49 pm
    neatpete1 says:
    May 24, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Because the 49rs had made it clear they were not going to pay him that money. When people say he chose to walk away from his 49rs contract thats the justification for saying it was not actually a choice he gad available to make. If thats not true and he did have the option of just staying on the 49rs for that money then that means he refused his 49rs contract of his own free will. So one way or another he refused a contract opportunity. I personally feel he refused the Denver one and was forced on the 49rs one, but you are free to pick which way you want to gave it. Just cant be both.
    ———————-

    You need to go back and check the timeline, because that Denver deal was for 2016 and 2017, and Kaepernick played for the 49ers in 2016 and opted out of his contract in 2017, after he found out they were going to release him. At the time of the Denver offer, he didn’t know he was going to be released by the 49ers, so to take the Denver offer would mean he would give up a lot of money.

    ——————-
    Maybe they had told him he had fallen out of the long term plans maybe not, we dont know what was said behind closed doors. But when your team is entertainng trade offers of the ‘take him off our hands’ variety and Blaine Gabbert is getting some of your reps in practice if you can’t figure out whats going on that is on you.

    Denver was willing to give him a chance to prove he was a starter. Kaepernick thought he was a shoo in starter, in fact its obvious he still believed he was elite. SF was clearly looking for ways to phase him out. He really should have taken that Denver offer. Unless of course he secretly knew his skills had declined and he was never going to prove anything. Which of course would explain a lot of his behavior since then because he has for a long time now acted like a guy that doesnt want to get signed. My own opinion of his actions is that I see a guy that doesnt want to risk his martyr/victim status and us looking for how to milk that for somoething. I think he knows that if he lets a team put himself on an NFL field again he will be exposed as a loser rather than a martyr.

    He can prove me wrong by going in the CFL route. I think Johnny Manziel is a loser too, but his odds of showing me up are far greater than Karpernicks.

    Its a shame because I think every player that picked up the protest after Kaepernick has been quite sincere in the point they are trying to make and the credibilty of the whole thing gets undermined by this one guy just trying to work it for himself.

  50. Anyone have a copy of the supposed poll? Would love someone to become an investigative reporter and get some of this nailed down before making it public. Surely someone would have leaked this already, if true.

  51. The only group of people profiting from this continued fake controversy are the lawyers and the press! However, in my opinion, Keapernick and his alleged girlfriend, in addition to dishonoring our Country’s Flag, have honored a communist dictator, Fidel Castro, denigrated police all over the Country by his wearing of pig socks and her comment regarding the owner of the Ravens being a “slave owner” deserve everything they get! Had it been left at kneeling for the Anthem it could have been viewed as a demonstration but once he/they included the other issues and comments they lowered themselves to a level that shows they are truly not fit to be constructive members of society.

  52. ronfai says:
    May 24, 2018 at 2:36 pm
    I see a $100MM or settlement being offered by the NFL to Kaepernick in the coming weeks and Eric Reid will miraculously be hired on a team as well. Now that they got a go-forward policy – they need to cover their tracks and pretend there were never a wickedly racist bigoted organization.

    ———–

    Actually I see Mark Geragos milking Kaep (and Reid) for all he can get. Then when Kaep is broke, Geragos will ride into the sunset.

  53. Go away, Kaepernick.
    Go play for the Pyongyang panthers or the Havana Hyenas or the Beijing Beetles.
    When you go, take your Marxist girl friend who has turned you into a Marxist dupe, one of the many useful idiots needed for Communism

  54. Information provided to teams, derived from surveys commissioned by teams, for the purpose of informing them in regard to how public opinion might affect heir business should they sign a player does not equal collusion.

  55. Kaepernick is a tool of Dr Harry Edwards and of his big-mouthed activist GF. Who wants a player who Tumsula and the 49ers had to dumb down their playbook for, whose out of control GF calls iconic players “Uncle Toms” and owners plantation owners, who wears pig socks deriding those cops who are killed by black men at a ratio of 18.5 to every mostly guilty black men killed by cops and who refused to repudiate a brutal dictator with generations of blood and suffering on his hands. He is toxic!

    Pretty sure the “he can start for many teams” new narrative to be of the fake news variety.

  56. If I assume the results of the poll were shared with all
    teams, I believe Kaepernick has a strong enough argument
    to get to a jury.
    One could argue that despite no evidence of specific
    discussion between two teams the sharing of the
    negative findings indicates a concern about Kaepernick
    prospective employment based upon facts not related to his
    ability.
    This may allow the case to survive summary judgement and
    allow Kaepernick to get to a jury of his peers.
    In cases like this, settlement chances go way up.

  57. It’s the only case of collusion ever where the supposedly colluded against party would have a job (with at least Baltimore and Seattle) except that he sabotaged his own chances…

  58. I think that Colon Krappernick should have done things instead of acting like a petulant child. The case of the four former college basketball team mates who started a pizza chain in impoverished areas and employed those people is a shining example of how to be a man; it is a childish thing to steal attention over issues that are not even based in fact that leverage a political ideology over pragmatic help for people. And no better example is JJ Watt who exploited his star power to help his city Houston during the flood. And then he did it again by paying for the 10 deceased in the latest shooting that could not be prevented by any leftist gun control blather.

  59. The league has done surveys on smoking at the stadium & excessive drinking ( cutting off beer sales after halftime or 3rd Qtr )
    and other issues that maybe of concern to their customers. ( and may cause them to stay away ) Why is asking opinions about kneeling different ?
    Marketing 101 Find out what your customers want and give it to them.

    **** *****

    Those are issues, this was a survey about signing a particular player, different situation. The fact that the NFL commissioned the survey rather than an individual team looking to hire him, gives credence to the claim that the NFL was involved in the decision(s) not to hire him.

    Those who want to deny it no matter what, can try to say the NFL was only gathering info for its members, but that’s up to a judge and/or jury to decide, not a bunch of Trump and Faux News fans. Besides, the NFL gathers data for leaguewide issues, not just a couple teams, which implies hiring/not hiring him was something a majority of teams were involved in…if it’s not a smoking gun, you can at least still smell the black powder.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.