Some are still upset with Kaepernick being out for this season and claim the reason he wasn’t picked up by any of the teams is more about politics than aptitude according to The Guardian.
Yesterday the New York Post reported that an NFL executive agreed it wasn’t about Kaepernick’s abilities, but it had more to do with his inability to think of the team. “It’s really not about his ability. It’s about the risk of what happens to the team concept when you sign a guy – a quarterback – who has put his personal agenda ahead of what we are all charged to do, which is put the team first.”
An ESPN survey among various NFL officials and employees determined that at least six teams would benefit from having Kaepernick as their starter, seemingly proving that his abilities as a player have nothing to do with why he wasn’t chosen.
This would also support the notion raised by liberals that the NFL refused to place him because of his activism. Geoff Pope, a former cornerback for the New York Giants, claimed the NFL has remained obstinate in regards to racial equality. “The world has changed with racial attitudes. The NFL kind of looks like the old dude in the corner that’s not changing, [saying] ‘it’s my way or the highway’.”
Yet the NFL executive points out Kaepernick’s desire to distract from the game and put his own agenda before the team is why he wasn’t picked. “Tom Brady of Philip Rivers would never consider making a stand on something like that, and it’s just because it’s not the place. I don’t disparage what he did. I understand and I’m all for people standing up for a cause, just not while they’re at work.”
A defensive coordinator for one of the teams stated he doesn’t believe racism is at play for the NFL refusing to sign Kaepernick. “As far as his prospects as a backup. I don’t think he is being blackballed in terms of rich white owners saying, ‘We are not hiring this guy.’”
He argued the drama and controversy Kaepernick would bring to the team isn’t worth his abilities as an athlete even as a backup. “I think coaches are like, ‘Look, if this kid is not starting for us, why are you bringing in distractions not for a starter? We have a pretty good sort of locker room and mesh here. What is the risk-reward?’ I don’t think anyone is to the point of making him the starter, and that is the bubble he is getting caught in.”
In addition to teams worried about Kaepernick’s activism getting in the way of putting the team first is the concern that fans will be upset by him joining. The Guardian points to a survey that determined out of those who refused to watch the games last year, nearly a quarter of them noted Kaepernick as the reason.
With fans boycotting the athlete both on television and in the stadiums, as well as coaches worried about Kaepernick focusing less on his team and performance and choosing to instead make a political point, it’s no wonder that he failed to find a team this year.
Regardless of athletic ability as a starter or backup–or even of the political points he’s trying to make–the NFL and its fans don’t want an athlete who boycotts the very reason he’s able to play in the first place.