NFL rumors have suggested that Colin Kaepernick — the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback — is being blackballed by multiple NFL franchises over his controversial political stance last season. While some have dismissed the rumors as merely fodder, at least one high-profile individual has agreed with the assessment — President Donald Trump.
Donald Trump believes that his infamous Twitter habit is partially the reason Colin Kaepernick — who refused to stand during the national anthem at games — remains an unsigned free agent according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. In a speech Donald Trump gave in Louisville, Ky., last month, the President of the United States suggested that his condemnation of Colin Kaepernick for political activism has been a valid reason for the athlete to remain without a team this far into the upcoming season.
“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 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, right?”
The article Trump referenced was a piece from Bleacher Report, according to the Chicago Tribune article. An unnamed AFC general manager confirmed the NFL rumors suggesting Colin Kaepernick was being singled out by the league for his role in the protests last season.
The GM listed three reasons why other teams haven’t signed Colin Kaepernick thus far: don’t think he can play, fear of fan (or Donald Trump) backlash, and punishing the political activist. The percentage of teams afraid of backlash, according to the GM, was 10 percent – or approximately three to four teams in the NFL.
His political stance is not the reason Colin Kaepernick is looking for a new squad. Instead of adapting to a fourth new head coach in as many years with the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick decided to test free agency by opting out of his contract with franchise in February. The quarterback that took the team to the 2012 Super Bowl decided to move in a different direction after meeting with the team’s front office and coaches.
Kyle Shanahan — the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers — shed some light on those discussions with Colin Kaepernick earlier this week according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. After signing Bryan Hoyer and Matt Barkley in March, Kylae Shanahan and new San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch met with Colin Kaepernick to discuss his role — or lack thereof — in the incoming coach’s offense, Shanahan told reporters this week.
“Colin’s had a great career, and he’s done some really good things. I think Colin has a certain skill set that you can put a specific offense to it that he can be very successful in. When we first looked at it … that wasn’t necessarily the direction I wanted to go. The type of offense I wanted to run was somewhat different and that’s why we went that type of direction.”
Colin Kaepernick was not going to allow the distractions that came with his political protest to keep him from landing a new team, either. The 29-year-old professional told ESPN last month he would stand for the national anthem next season, eliminating the controversy that surrounded him throughout the 2016 campaign.
Colin Kaepernick had a decent 2016 season despite having a 1-10 record on the field. The quarterback — who has started for 64 games during his NFL career — threw for 16 TDs and 2,241 yards in 2016, leading Colin Kaepernick to a 90.7 QBR that signified his return from a dismal 2015 season.
Do you believe the NFL rumors that Donald Trump — or the entire league — is behind Colin Kaepernick remaining a free agent thus far? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Featured Image by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images]