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Commentary: Kapernick blackballed from NFL for activism, coaches are cowards

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Colin Kaepernick has been under a tremendous amount of scrutiny after making national headlines last year for kneeling in protest during the national anthem at NFL games.

 

The NFL has had it’s fair share of controversies, including Ray Rice knocking out his wife cold on video and Mick Vick’s dog fighting ring. Vick still played in the NFL, and Rice will never step foot on an NFL field again.

 

For the last two weeks, Kaepernick has remained a free agent after leaving a deal to continue playing for the San Francisco 49ers. NFL fans and social justice activists cannot be fooled; we know exactly why the Super Bowl quarterback is still unemployed, and it has nothing to do with football.

 

After Kaepernick’s side-line protest, he has been outspoken about issues in our society, especially police brutality and the unfair treatment of black Americans. Many NFL and NCAA players have followed suit, kneeling during the National Anthem before sporting events.

 

The NFL seems to pick and choose which “distractions” are costly enough to reject a player.

 

Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Thomas took to Twitter, saying “NFL teams accept ZERO distractions from their backup QBs,” in siting a reason the Browns have no interest in singing Kaepernick.

 

The Browns would benefit from at least one decent player, but still, they choose ignorance over the chance of actually winning games.

 

Admittedly, 2016 was not Kaepernick’s best season. He did not live up to the numbers that he produced in the previous four seasons, yet he still didn’t play bad enough to be a free agent for this long. The NFL is showing its true colors by avoiding a player who stands for something besides just football.

 

NFL teams should be honored to claim an honest and brave player like Kaepernick. He is not afraid to use his celebrity platform for bettering the world. He has a youth camp called “Know Your Rights” that teaches children how to interact with police officers and strive for higher education. Not to mention, he funds it himself.

 

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman spoke up about Kaepernick’s unfair treatment and pointed out that he is an experienced, elite player with no real reason not to be signed.

 

This far into a free agency, it is undeniable that Kaepernick is being ignored because of his football skills. He’s not the first quarterback to have an off year, yet he is one of the first to not be signed because of it. He deserves much more respect than he is getting from the league.

 

NFL coaches are cowardly denying a player the opportunity to play football because of his demand for equal rights. They’ve turned a blind eye to players’ character countless times before when they needed that player out on the field.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Mike Vick.

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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University
Commentary: Kapernick blackballed from NFL for activism, coaches are cowards