After former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick spent most of last season kneeling during the national anthem, he's allegedly become hated by many in the NFL.
Bleacher Report spoke with an anonymous AFC general manager, who said:
"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 [kneeling for the national anthem]. 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."
There are game-related concerns as well as it pertains to Kaepernick, as Bleacher Report notes, but the main focus seems to be political.
The NFL can't be blamed for seeing Kaepernick as toxic. His message was muddy from the beginning. Kaepernick knelt in protest of undefined "systematic oppression" of people of color, as well as social justice.
Side note: "systematic" is not the same as "systemic." Moving on.
Additionally, Kaepernick publicly wore a tee shirt featuring photos of Malcolm X and the late dictator, Fidel Castro. When Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who was born in Havana, Cuba, asked Kaepernick to explain himself, the quarterback dodged, saying the shirt was about Malcolm X--but Salguero persisted.
"One thing Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here even though we’re fully capable of doing that," Kaepernick finally admitted.
Few can respond to this better than Salguero himself, a man who, upon fleeing Cuba as a child, had to leave his father behind because the Cuban military wouldn't let him go. Salguero writes:
First, Cuba does not have the highest literacy rate. Second, don’t be surprised if the same people who report Cuba’s admittedly high literacy rate are related to those who report its election results — the ones in which the Castros get 100 percent of the votes.
Third, could it be Cuba doesn’t have to invest a lot in its prison system because, you know, dungeons and firing squads (El Paredon) are not too expensive to maintain?
Finally, it’s bizarre that Kaepernick is extolling the education system of a country where people believe launching out into shark-infested seas to flee is a better idea than staying there.
So I make the point to Kaepernick that aside from that awesome school system the Castro devils established, there was also that communist revolution we should consider, and the lack of free elections and justice. And after teaching folks the alphabet, to Kaepernick’s apparent delight, the Castros break up families, including mine, because some folks get out and others cannot.
Racism exists in the United States--no one denies that. The problem is that Colin Kaepernick lacks specificity in his protest, content to broadly dishonor the most free and just nation on earth rather than provide detailed or explicit violations which can be examined and rectified. Moreover, his defense of the late Fidel Castro shows the disturbing superficiality of his thought process.
If Kaepernick remains a free agent, he has no one to blame but himself because he unmoored his ship without knowing the first thing about how to sail.