In the midst of his Louisville, Kentucky, rally on Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump decided to take a shot at former San Francisco 49ers NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is still effectively unemployed today. Kaepernick courted controversy during the last NFL fall season when, instead of standing for the national anthem, he opted to take a knee instead. The player then went on to feud with Trump through Twitter, with Kaepernick accusing the real estate mogul-turned-politician of being “openly racist.”
While Trump did not call out Kaepernick by name, the U.S. president did take the opportunity to mock the former San Francisco 49er quarterback and the fact that the player was still waiting to be approached by any team for the upcoming football season, according to a CBS Sports report. According to Trump, part of the reason why the NFL player remains unsigned to a team is due to him, as well as his rather infamous tweets.
“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback. I’m sure nobody ever heard of him. I’m just reporting the news. There was an article today — I love to report the news, and then they said I made a mistake, right? I said, ‘No, the people reporting the news made a mistake if it’s wrong.’
“But there was an article today. It was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”
Trump was referring to a recent article by Mike Freeman in the Bleacher Report, which cited an AFC general manager who stated that one of the reasons teams are keeping their distance to Kaepernick is due to his social media feud with the U.S. president. According to the report, there is a significant number of teams that are most likely hesitating to employ Kaepernick for fear of receiving a nasty tweet from Trump. Overall, the AFC GM stated that there are three reasons behind the seeming lack of interest in Kaepernick.
“He can still play at a high level. The problem is three things are happening with him. First, some teams genuinely believe that he can’t play. They think he’s shot. I’d put that number around 20 percent.
“Second, some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team. I’d say that number is around 10 percent. Then there’s another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.
“Third, the rest genuinely hate him and can’t stand what he did. They want nothing to do with him. They won’t move on. They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did.”
Kaepernick’s protest last year triggered a wave of unrest among players in numerous sports last year, according to an ESPN report. According to the former 49er quarterback, he took a knee instead of standing during the national anthem as a means to protest the oppression of minorities in the United States. Responding to the player’s actions, Trump, who was then a candidate for the presidency, stated that the player would be better off playing in another country. The real estate mogul later alleged that part of the NFL’s falling ratings was due to the player’s actions.
“I think it’s personally not a good thing. I think it’s a terrible thing. And, you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try. It won’t happen.”
As Kaepernick waits for his next employment opportunity, the former 49er quarterback has focused most of his energy in charities, raising funds to fly food and water to Somalia. Should Kaepernick not find any employment in the NFL this year, the player should also be financially fine, as he is noted to have earned around $43 million since signing to the league back in 2011. Apart from this, rumors are high that the CFL, Canada’s football league, is also scouting the controversial player.
[Featured Image by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]