Is Colin Kaepernick himself okay with the rally planned by his supporters outside the National Football League’s Park Avenue headquarters in New York City on August 23?
That was the subject for discussion on the Speak for Yourself broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is still looking for a job in professional football, but apparently, has not publicly endorsed the rally. The free agent’s employment status as either a starter or more likely a backup at this stage of his career has consumed a tremendous amount of oxygen in the sports media industry, and the media in general, and has only intensified as the NFL regular season grows closer.
It’s unclear whether Kap’s political activism or declining skills, or a combination of both, have kept him out of an NFL training camp so far.
Unlike most sports media pundits other than perhaps Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis, Jason Whitlock is often a lone voice expressing criticism of the Colin Kaepernick National Anthem protest against police brutality and racial injustice, describing it more or less as divisive, childish, uninformed, and self-serving. Kaepernick has also compared police to fugitive slave catchers and praised Cuba’s late dictator Fidel Castro.
With Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock co-hosts FS1’s Speak for Yourself, an offering that airs weekdays at 5 p.m. Eastern time, which appears to be the Fox network’s answer to ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption. Both Cowherd and Whitlock previously worked for ESPN.
The contrarian Whitlock — the former Kansas City Star and Huffington Post columnist and Ball State University football player — rejoined Fox Sports after two tours of duty with ESPN. With views that seldom fit into either the left or right paradigm, Whitlock is a vocal critic of what he considers the intrusion of progressive ideology into sports culture.
Whitlock likened the upcoming rally to a financial shakedown against an NFL team by those in Kaepernick’s corner, an allegation that he has raised previously.
“This is all about a money grab and trying to leverage a better contract than perhaps the NFL has been offering…this rally I think he should want because I think it’s a shakedown; they’re trying to bribe or ransom, force, the NFL into giving him more money than they want to…”
According to The Daily Caller, Kaepernick allegedly rejected at least one NFL job offer because he was unwilling to accept “backup money” ($900,000).
Whitlock also didn’t mince words Kap’s perceived credentials as a civil rights activist.
“He’s what Kaepernick has done, and here’s what his groupies and sycophants have convinced him of, that he is the embodiment of America’s racial oppression. And if somehow America treated Kaepernick right, that good treatment of Kaepernick would trickle down to everybody else…if you follow the media elite, and the black media elite, this is what we believe in. Trickle down social justice. If you treat these millionaires better, it’s going to trickle down to the poor people; it’s the most preposterous, stupid, blind narcissistic, ignorant thing that’s even been invented…”
Jason Whitlock concluded with these thoughts about the social justice movement.
“We spend all this time talking and worrying about Kaepernick, a millionaire quarterback who grew up in the suburbs, raised outside the black community, and oh my God, he’s the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with America…he’s a figment of social justice warriors’ imagination.”
Panelists Kristine Leahy and Eric Davis disagreed with much of what Whitlock said, while Cowherd chimed in with the suggestion that Kaepernick is more interested in politics than the NFL given that his last tweet about football occurred on May 29, 2015.
Watch the clip below and draw your own conclusions.
Separately, on his Outkick the Coverage blog, Clay Travis wondered on a purely theoretical basis how the media industry would react had Kap protested same-sex marriage by taking a knee on the NFL sidelines.
Do you think that Colin Kaepernick, who has previously announced that he is abandoning his take-a-knee protest, will get an NFL job this season?
[Featured Image by Ted S. Warren/AP Images]