Sunday, November 17, 2019

Applying for a job, out-of-work QB Colin Kaepernick tries to set conditions for his interview

As of today, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is an unrestricted free agent. He is free to sign a contract with any team in any league. He obviously likes it that way.

Last week, the National Football League made a surprise move and offered the out-of-work quarterback an opportunity very few other unrestricted free agents get. They offered to stage a private workout with any and/or all of the NFL's 32 teams who wished to see him execute drills, run sprints and throw passes. There are dozens of unrestricted free agent QB's looking for spots on NFL teams, so you'd think that Kaepernick would be grateful. But this is Colin freakin' Kaepernick, y'all. He's special.
Representatives for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick called an audible less than an hour before he was scheduled to work out for 25 NFL teams Saturday, moving the session to a high school football field in Riverdale, Ga. from the Atlanta Falcons training facility in Flowery Branch, 60 miles away.

Kaepernick threw passes for about 40 minutes to free agent receivers Bruce Ellington, Brice Butler, Jordan Veasy and Ari Werts before signing autographs for hundreds of fans gathered in the end zone.

"I've been ready for three years. I've been denied for three years," Kaepernick told reporters at the conclusion of a bizarre day. "... We are waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams and [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people."

Remember, folks... Kaepernick hasn't taken a snap since the 2016 season. His last gig was for the 49ers--a team now sitting atop the NFC West Division with 8-1 record. He's not without talent--his 49ers made it to Superbowl XLVII and he led the 49ers to two comeback wins in the playoffs. He led them in another comeback during the Superbowl but fell short and lost to the Baltimore Ravens.

It would be his career pinnacle. The 2013 49ers made it to the NFC Championship Game but lost to eventual Champ Seahawks. The 2014 team went 8-8 and missed the playoffs. The 2015 team got worse, going 5-11, and the 2016 season ended 2-14. It was the 2016 season in which Kaepernick and wide receiver Eric Reid set off the trendy protests over perceived racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem at games. The move spread to other teams and divided the country by alienating fans.

Kaepernick, Reid, their other 'woke' social justice warriors and their employers all learned that while protests are as American as the 4th of July, they're not without consequences. Game attendance and TV viewership dropped sharply enough for the owners and the league to institute policies that allowed the players to express their grievances out of the public view. The league essentially told Kaepernick et al that "we respect your right to be upset over a matter in which we have no influence. Please throw your temper tantrums over there in the locker room. Be ready to play when the whistle blows, or be subject to disciplinary action as agreed to in the union contract you signed."

The NFL eventually negotiated a collusion grievance settlement with Kaepernick and Reid. Reid got the message and now plays for the Carolina Panthers. Kaepernick, though...

When was the last time any average Joe or Jane got invited to an interview for their dream job, only to call the prospective employer the day of the interview and say, "hold up." And then say, "you need to come to this place instead of your place. And here's how this interview goes down. Afterwards, I'll say a few words to the press I've invited and sign autographs for my admirers." The job offers just roll in after an episode like that, right?

Stephen A. Smith is no fan of "the system." Not many rage against the machine as long or as loud as the Stephen A and he tells it like he thinks it is. Sometimes I give the finger to Stephen A and change the channel but sometimes I listen.

So today, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still an unrestricted free agent. He is still free to sign a contract with any team in any league. But I bet he won't.


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