As noted here last week, the adjustment to the national anthem policy should remove any impediment to the employment of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid, since neither will be able to kneel during the national anthem. Some players reportedly have come to the same conclusion.
Shaun King, an independent reporter who has had several anthem-related stories in recent months, contends that “[s]everal NFL stars have told me they are considering sitting out the season until the de facto ban of Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick is removed and both men are given spots back on rosters.”
King also claims that the unnamed “star” players hope to get 25 percent of all players to sit out with them.
If they’re truly considering staying away from training camp and/or the regular season, it will get very expensive. Teams can fine players up to $40,000 per day for skipping camp. In addition to any forfeited game checks, players will be susceptible to an attack on any unearned amounts of signing bonuses they previously have received.
And while teams often will look the other way when holdouts arising from contract disputes end, it’s safe to say that owners wouldn’t react well to walkouts based on the status of Kaepernick and Reid.
Besides, if players truly thinking about sitting out at great expense later, why not sit out at little or no expense now? The Organized Team Activities are voluntary, and more than a few players are skipping them for a variety of reasons. If “several NFL stars” are thinking about sending a message later, why not send a message immediately?
The fact that there’s been no chatter about players choosing not to show up on Tuesday for the next round of OTAs, either due to the new anthem rule or to the ongoing unemployment of Kaepernick and Reid, makes it hard to believe that any star players (or any non-star players) would give up money — and potentially give plenty of money back — all in the name of helping Kaepernick and Reid.