Now the blackballed writing is on the wall. Colin Kaepernick is an unwanted free agent. Unless you have been living under a rock, none of this should surprise you. The one man that decided to start a conversation by simply kneeling during a football game is now a bigger NFL public enemy than Carlton Ridenhour. And all of this happened because he wanted to be a voice for the voiceless.
And believe me, I understand how owners can feel that he is too much of a distraction. The constant press, attention, and paparazzi can be annoying. Also, football teams want to be concerned with winning games and nothing else. They have very little desire for the derivative madness of media attention. Thus, I’m well aware that owners have some valid reasons for not wanting to deal with him.
That is until we realize the bigger picture of WHO is still getting attention for quarterback jobs.
Johnny Manziel, people. Johnny Manziel is getting attention for being picked up by someone’s team (namely the Saints).
And that bit of news was the Craig Hodges flavored icing on the cake.
Colin Kaepernick vs. The Others
If anyone out there wants to act like this situation isn’t racially motivated by Kaepernick’s actions, then I have swamp land to sell them on Xanadu. There IS no other reason for it now that you have people like Johnny Manziel getting attention. People can bring up the fact that Kaepernick “isn’t that good” all they want to. We have seen mediocre members of the quarterback corner get contracts recently. So, all of that “performance pay” idealism goes out of the window.
Think about it from an intellectual standpoint: March Sanchez, Nick Foles, Josh McCown, and even black QB’s like EJ Manuel and Geno Smith have been signed. Sanchez hasn’t done much since the Jets. Josh McCown has been in the league for years and isn’t really that good. EJ Manuel and Geno Smith are two seconds from being washed up. Foles is the only one that is probably worth signing out of those that I named.
And yet, here we are.
It isn’t his performance because he higher QBR’s than a small amount of QB’s that are still with their team (check the stats here). And he is the consummate teammate as well. He recently won the Len Eshmont Award for the 49ers. It is given to those that are courageous in their endeavors. Notably, this award is voted by the players on the team. So, what is the real issue here?
And the idea of Manziel getting attention? If a consistent, drunken, domestic violence head case like Manziel can get a phone call before Kaep, then what is left to be said.
Colin Kaepernick Went Too Deep Into The Rabbit Hole
The REAL issue is that Kaepernick went too deep into the rabbit hole. He became more than just some jock kneeling for some idealistic cause. He began putting in the work that supported his beliefs. From donating to Meals on Wheels to donating $1 million of his salary, he has been putting in work. And there are other things that won’t be named because the list becomes quite long. In the end, he doesn’t want to talk to talk when he can walk the walk.
And walking the walk of being a man of his people has brought him to this. The same scenario we saw with Craig Hodges for writing a letter to the president. The same scenario we saw with Mahmoud Abdul Rauf for not wanting to pledge the flag. The same thing that happened to Tommie Smith and John Carlos for their protest at the 1968 Olympics. When you walk the walk, the blackball comes rolling down to make shreds of your career.
Colin Kaepernick Sacrificed Himself For Others
Colin Kaepernick did it all for the people. Now, he is in the expected sacrificial lamb position that many black athletes will find themselves in. Now, we have to consider what is going to happen from here. Will people rally behind him? Will he be okay? Or will he fall into financial/career obscurity? Some of those answers aren’t up to him; they are up to us.