As a non NFL fan, I can’t think of anyone more suitable to write about the Colin Kaepernick drama than me. I’ll admit to not keeping up with it, not understanding it, and not caring about it one little bit. Yet, someone had the nerve to ask my opinion anyway. So, here it is.
To some, Kaepernick was given an opportunity by the NFL to rejoin a team by working out this past Saturday in Atlanta in front of all the NFL teams. In what’s become typical Kaepernick fashion, he objected to the terms of the NFL workout and decided on a workout on terms more to his liking. Rumor has it, he’s been waking up at 5:00am working out everyday since he was cut so I don’t understand why folks couldn’t just wake up with him to see him work out at their convenience if they were really interested in considering him for a quarterback position. Why wait til week 11 of the season when last summer (or next summer) would be the optimal time to consider sliding a new player on your roster?
I imagine most teams aren’t interested in signing him no matter how good he looks in a workout. He’s accused them all of collusion and the league gave him money to go away – I thought. But, like you and I when we lose our job, if we want to keep getting that unemployment check, we have to prove we’re willing to keep looking for a job. Maybe that’s what the workout was to prove.
I do kinda wish he had gone along with the NFL’s workout. There would be a ton of data we’d have to analyze his readiness. There’d be a plethora of discussion from owners why his performance didn’t meet their standards. There’d be the divided fan base arguing with each other why or why not he got a fair shot to join a team. Or, maybe there would be that one team willing to give him a job to make the NFL look like the forgiving champion of justice.
More than likely, it would be a losing team with nothing to lose other than a lot of empty seats for the last few games of the year. Season ticket holders would threaten not to renew giving the owner an excuse to cut Kaepernick in the off season which would satisfy the fans and absolve the NFL of any further Kaepernick consideration.
One thing that will never change. Professional sports will keep opening games with a National Anthem. They will associate the anthem with the American value of military readiness and service, first responders, and patriotism. Anything that counters that notion will be rejected and challenged. I’ve never understood what that has to do with the sport, but it ain’t about me.
Kaepernick understands it isn’t about him either. That’s why he continues to buck the NFL’s system which furthers exposes the lunacy of professional sports. The hundreds of players who provide the talent and entertainment are there to serve the families that own the teams, the employees in the league offices, and the fans. It’s not a bad system when it’s allowed to run as designed.
However, if NFL teams went public and operated like real American businesses owned by stock holders looking to earn a dividend, players would be making a whole lot more money; teams would be far more valuable; the league would be far richer, and Kaepernick would have been playing somewhere.
As long as the fiefdom of the few billionaire families continue to have a choke hold on professional sports franchises, nothing matters but keeping those families billionaires.