Green Bay Packers superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers has enough clout to get Colin Kaepernick on the team if he really wanted to, sports commentator Jason Whitlock claims.
Whitlock, a Fox Sports 1 host, was reacting to a long interview that Rodgers gave to ESPN, in which the subject of Colin Kaepernick's employment status came up.
Former San Francisco 49ers QB Kaepernick famously took a knee during the national anthem last season as a protest against police brutality and racial injustice, and is currently without a job in professional football
The NFL free agent's possible future either as 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 nears. It's unclear whether Kaepernick's controversial social activism and NFL owners' concerns about the distractions it might cause or his declining skills — or a combination of both — have kept the signal caller off the gridiron so far.
Aaron Rodgers told ESPN that he thinks that Colin Kaepernick should be on an NFL roster by now.
"I think because of his protests, he's not… I'm gonna stand because that's the way I feel about the flag -- but I'm also 100 percent supportive of my teammates or any fellow players who are choosing not to. They have a battle for racial equality. That's what they're trying to get a conversation started around..."
In a panel discussion on his FS1 show, Speak for Yourself, Jason Whitlock implied that the ever-cautious and guarded Rodgers (who taped the interview simultaneously with the ESPN writer so that his remarks wouldn't be taken out of context) was just being politically correct.
"I think Aaron Rodgers has said what any white quarterback asked that question probably has to say...I just happen to believe, perhaps wrongly, that Dak [Prescott] was honest, and Aaron Rodgers said what he had to say. Because if Aaron Rodgers was really down for the cause, you know what, he's got a lot of power in Green Bay. 'You know what, Kaepernick should be my backup quarterback. Kaepernick should be on our roster'...It's not going to happen because it ain't what he believes."Whitlock was alluding to Dallas Cowboys QB Prescott's recent statement that he is not interested in participating in the national anthem protests inspired by Kaepernick.
The contrarian Whitlock — a former Kansas City Star and HuffPost columnist, and Ball State University football player — rejoined Fox Sports after two tours of duty with ESPN and now is the co-host of the above-mentioned Speak for Yourself airing weekdays on FS1 at 5 p.m. ET. The sports talk roundtable appears to be the Fox network's counter-programming to ESPN's Pardon the Interruption. 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 and has dissented from the praise that most of the sports media has heaped on Colin Kaepernick.
In a podcast interview yesterday, Whitlock described Kaepernick as an "attention whore" and a bad role model for kids and who got involved in an ineffective protest because it is too divisive. He has previously claimed that the Kaepernick protest has never been about police brutality. Instead, it was an attention-getting technique for Kaepernick who is/was unhappy that he lost the starting job in San Francisco and is still unsigned by any other NFL team, Whitlock asserted.
During the podcast, Whitlock maintained that football got him into college and also launched his career in journalism. The irony, he claims, is that football is now under attack from liberals in Hollywood and Silicon Valley where there is a lack of diversity, while generally conservative NFL owners have created thousands of black millionaires among their players.
Separately, Whitlock predicted that Colin Kaepernick will give an interview to a media outlet on NFL opening weekend so that he can inject himself into the national conversation.
Do you think that Colin Kaepernick will get a job in the NFL this season?
[Featured Image by Jeffrey Phelps/AP Images]