I want to start this off with an apology. In my very first article on this site, I called former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, a fraudulent human being. I said that he would stand for the anthem this season for the sole purpose of appeasing NFL owners so he would have a job was wrong. Nope. I was. Colin, I am sorry, and I am officially on your team.
At the beginning of the summer, it was pretty apparent that Colin still wanted to play football while being a good human. He even worked out with the Seattle Seahawks to be the backup to Russell Wilson. While he didn’t get a contract out of that, it at least seemed that he was on his way to earning a roster spot. However, with multiple teams refusing to bring him in in the last couple of weeks, that doesn’t seem likely.
This Isn’t About Football
Before you start thinking this is going to be a list of all the places he could play, it’s not. Throughout the talks of the Los Angeles Chargers, the New York Jets, the Baltimore Ravens, or even (I don’t know why he was considered here) the Miami Dolphins, Colin’s name kept popping up. Multiple talking heads, reporters, and analysts would comment on how Kaepernick would be a great fit. But, with all that positive reinforcement, why isn’t he on a roster?
There are a couple of theories for this. The first, and most popular, is that Colin is being “blackballed” by the NFL. That the commissioner and all owners agreed not to hire Kaepernick; no matter how dire their quarterbacking situation. I didn’t start believing that until recently; when Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti had the audacity to ask fans to “pray” for the team in the decision to sign him or not. Bisciotti is the same ‘human’ that helped the NFL cover up the Ray Rice elevator video, by the way. How is he not being blackballed again?
From a football standpoint, Baltimore kind of makes sense. He’s certainly better than Ryan Mallette and Aaron Murray. Kaepernick is also better than just about every backup in the NFL and some starters, in my opinion. He also makes sense from an organizational standpoint. Colin’s “Know Your Rights” campaign would and should be wholly welcomed by the city of Baltimore, and the football franchise that represents it. Still, Kap remains without a job.
Which leads me to the theory I think is truly at the heart of all of this.
He Just Wants to be a Good Human
There’s one question I have yet to hear anyone ask or answer: Does Colin still want to play football?
I’m sure he does. I’m sure he still feels like he can play at a high level in the NFL. But maybe, just maybe, he wants to do something more. Maybe Kaepernick saw the impact he could have if he dedicated all his time to his humanitarian efforts. If you’re not familiar with his organization (www.kaepernick7.com), go and educate yourself before slamming him or me.
If you’re on social media at all; and let’s be honest, who isn’t in this “hide behind your fake avatar, ‘hot take'” world we live in, go check Colin out. All I’ve seen from him on Twitter (@kaepernick7) or Instagram (kaepernick7) this summer is about his foundation and other humanitarian efforts. Other than a couple retweets, I couldn’t find a single time Kaepernick himself mentioned, or hinted at, playing football during this calendar year. His last football-related IG post came in May of 2015.
I don’t want you all coming at me saying he has no place doing that. The idea that anyone should “stick to sports” is just asinine and annoying. You should stick to carpentry, or accounting, or whatever else you do. The most important part of life as a human being is being human. And what’s wrong with that?
Do I want to see Colin Kaepernick back on the football field? I don’t know. I think he is talented and, in the right system, he could thrive; like he did before Jim Harbaugh got a call from Michigan.
What I don’t want to see is all these people championing for him to be on an NFL roster when we don’t know if that’s what he really wants. Maybe he wants to just be a great human, a philanthropist, and an activist. People don’t always have to be what we want them to be and there’s absolutely no crime in that.
P.S. – Colin, I host a weekly podcast on iTunes called “Press Row” and I’d love to have you on to talk about your future plans whether on the gridiron or not. And to apologize in person.