Bill Cowher blasted Colin Kaepernick on Sunday, saying that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is not earnest in his bid to come back to the NFL but instead likes the attention that being in the spotlight gives him.
The legendary NFL coach discussed Kaepernick’s public workout during a segment on The NFL Today, saying that if Kaepernick really wanted to play football again he would have scheduled a public workout in either of the last two offseasons. Kaepernick has been out of the league since 2016, and supporters say the former Super Bowl starter has been blackballed for his protest during the national anthem to raise attention for police brutality against minorities.
During that time away, Kaepernick sued the NFL claiming that owners were colluding to keep him from being signed, reaching an undisclosed settlement earlier this year. Kaepernick has said consistently during that time that he has stayed in playing shape and is ready to return to the NFL at any time, but Cowher said he doesn’t believe Kaepernick wants to give up the platform he has gotten as he built his stature as an activist.
“He does not like football,” Cowher said “It’s not important to him. He like the platform.”
That was an opinion shared by others in the sports world. Stephen A. Smith posted a video on Twitter claiming that Kaepernick doesn’t want to play.
He doesn't want to play. pic.twitter.com/ZuSI1IVW9r
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
Smith noted that Kaepernick changed the venue on short notice on Saturday after the NFL would not commit to allowing the media to tape his workout. Kaepernick said that he wanted full transparency, but Smith believed that it was really just part of an act on his part.
“Twenty five teams show up in Georgia at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility — state of the art facility, NFL personnel, equipment, video, everything, and what does Colin Kaepernick do. Colin Kaepernick wants to change the venue.”
“He don’t want to play,” Smith added after a long pause. “He wants to be a martyr.”
The workout being televised may have worked out in Kaepernick’s favor, however. The workout was livestreamed, and afterward highlights of Kaepernick connected on a series of long passes. Though he has been out of the league for three seasons now, many pundits noted that he hasn’t lost any arm strength and looks ready to step back into a playing role in the NFL if a team should choose to sign him.