Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick recently sat down for a very rare interview with the I Am Athlete podcast. He said some things that perhaps opened some eyes. Maybe even changed some minds.
Will any of it make a difference?
For now, there’s no reason to think it will. In the 48 hours or so since the episode that featured Kaepernick talking with Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson, and Pacman Jones debuted, there has been zero buzz about anyone potentially giving Kaepernick a tryout or a roster spot. Really, nothing has happened in the last five years to get the owners (not the coaches or the General Managers, but the owners) to view Kaepernick any differently.
If anything, his comments from Monday give the rich and powerful powers-that-be more ammunition to justify the ongoing shunning of Kaepernick. Consider this comment: “I know I have to find my way back in. So, yeah, if I have to come in as a backup, that fine. But that’s not where I’m staying. And when I prove that I’m a starter, I want to be able to step on the field as such.”
Anyone looking for another reason to not consider Kaepernick will seize on that remark as a red flag, a warning sign. They’ll be concerned that, if they give Kaepernick a shot, he’ll decide before they do that he has proven he’s a starter. And then they’ll have to worry about Kaepernick or his supporters agitating publicly or privately for a promotion.
It’s one of the reasons why teams weren’t interested in Tim Tebow as a backup quarterback, frankly. The Tebowmaniacs would have constantly jostled for Tebow to play, and Tebow would have quite possibly opted to aw-shucks his way through it, instead of making a clear and loud declaration that he’s the backup, and that the starter is the starter. In Kaepernick’s case, he’s calling his shot before he even gets one.
I’m not saying that’s a fair reaction to what he said. But what has been fair about any of the narratives that have been articulated to justify ignoring him over the past five years? Remember “he’s a vegan”? Yeah, that was one of them.
Still, the point is moot. No team is going to get tripped up over whether he expects to become the starter unless it’s otherwise considering him for employment. Nothing has happened to create the sense that anyone is considering him for employment. In the time since the interview landed, not a thing has changed. It will be a stunner if anything does.