Take a knee and you are forced to sit

The Colin Kaepernick Foundation has raised over $500,000 since October. Kaepernick himself has raised and donated millions more to oppressed individuals across the country. (Courtesy of: Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)

Alex Salucco
Connetor Editor

I think everybody could see this one coming; Colin Kaepernick appears to be “blacklisted” by the NFL. After putting the country on its hypocritical axis by refusing to stand during the national anthem last season, Kaepernick finds himself in another controversial situation. Why hasn’t he been signed yet?

‘He is not even good.’

Similar to the “he is not even black” comment I wrote about in September, this can be debunked with simple research, elementary math and a pair of eyes.

To be fair, I have never been one of those guys who thinks Kaepernick is an elite quarterback. I didn’t like his game coming out of college because of his throwing motion and his ability to pretty much only throw the ball straight and hard, but I will never argue with results.

With a mediocre roster surrounding him, the numbers that Kap put up last season are more than deserving of a contract. In 11 games, he threw for 16 touchdowns and 2,241 yards with only four interceptions. Average that out over a 16 game season and it equates to 23 touchdowns, 3,259 yards and only six picks. He also was on pace to rush for 680 yards which would have led the league at the quarterback position.

Those numbers are unthinkable when you factor in his offensive with more holes than SpaghettiOs, swiss cheese and the plotline to “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

In only 11 starts, Kap was sacked 36 times – just six under the league’s most in that category. Again, if you average that out over a full season, he would have been sacked a league leading 52 times – ouch.

If that doesn’t paint a picture of how miserable his team was, maybe this will – his receiving core couldn’t do the one thing they are paid to; catch the ball. The 49ers had a drop percentage of 4.9 last year tying them for second worst in the league despite having considerably less targets than the rest of the league. It’s too bad Jerry Rice isn’t around the team anymore.

So, he isn’t good? Please, tell me the real reason he doesn’t deserve a contract. I’m on my knees here.

‘He is not going to kneel anymore.’

This is something I’m struggling with. I want to say it’s because he thinks he has made a big enough difference already, but I just don’t know.

The timing is too suspect to not rule out that he knows if he continues to kneel during the anthem then no team will want to sign him. But if that is the case, can you blame him? He wants a job and all signs point to him being willing to do what it takes.

He’s definitely put his money where his mouth is, though. Not only has he donated and raised millions of dollars to help inner-city kids across the country, but he has played a large role in donating food and water to the people of Somalia.

Still, he loses some points in my eyes because if this is something he truly believes in he should have no problem being true to himself.

‘He has a vegan diet.’

This is the lie we are being fed? That teams are not interested in Kaepernick because of his vegan diet? Even if it was true Arian Foster flirted with a vegan diet for a few years and some guy named Tom Brady’s diet has been described as “vegan-like.”

We should have expected something like this because, after all, it isn’t like an owner can come out and say they have no interest in signing Kap because his views do not align with the team. That would be too transparent for the NFL.

Say you don’t like my country, say my national anthem is a symbol of hatred, bigotry and police brutality, but tell me you’re a vegan and that is where I will draw the line.

‘He is asking for too much money.’

Actually, to say that he asking for too much money would imply that a team has talked with him enough to get an understanding of what he is looking for financially. For Kaepernick, that is hardly the case. And even if the rumored number of $10 million a year is what he is in search of, that’s too much?

Let’s play along with the “$10 million a year” report for this argument without going into guaranteed numbers and cap hits because this is the NFL, where the salary cap is “flexible.”

That would make him the 23rd highest paid quarterback in the league, and who is the 22nd highest paid quarterback? Michael Joseph Glennon.

Glennon just inked a contract that gives him $15 million per year and he hasn’t started a game in a year-and-a-half; but I bet his form is impeccable when he’s standing for the National Anthem.

Can we get some justice for Colin? Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford and Brock Osweiler are getting paid, so why not Kap? Oh yeah, it’s that vegan thing.

‘He does not deserve a second chance.’

Oh, how I wish journalism accepted the use of a three-letter acronym that implied laughter at high decibels.

Getting a second chance would imply that he had done something wrong in the first place, but is what he did wrong? Agreeing with him isn’t necessary but if saying what he did was wrong, then what does that make the people who sent him death threats? Patriots?

The case can be made that his presence would be an unwanted distraction, but the whole “locker room distraction” argument goes out the window when guys like Johnny Manziel are garnering interest from NFL teams.

The amount of poor-character guys that continue to get contracts around the league is baffling. There are woman beaters, child abusers and drunk drivers who have been signed after their wrongdoings, and in some cases, incarceration.

Dallas signed Greg Hardy after physically assaulting a woman and throwing her on a “couch covered in guns.” But Kap would be “a distraction.”

Donte Stallworth was charged with DUI manslaughter and served 24 days in jail and two years of house arrest. He signed three different contracts after that. But Kap would be “a distraction.”

The Bears signed Ray McDonald despite evidence of beating his pregnant fiancée and finally decided enough was enough when he assaulted a woman holding a baby after two months with the team. But Kap would be “a distraction.”

Adrian Peterson hit his four-year-old son that left “‘visible swelling, marks and cuts’ on the child’s ankles, limbs, back, buttocks and genitals left by Peterson’s weapon of choice, a tree branch, or ‘switch,’ for the severity of the penalty,” according to Ian O’Connor of ESPN. But, of course, an individual who is standing up for human and civil rights would be “a distraction.”

I get it, he could be a distraction and have and the attention he would get could be a negative addition to a locker room, but his selfless act didn’t harm a pregnant woman nor a child.

So, owners of the NFL, just say it; say why you won’t offer him a contract. Don’t feed us the vegan, money-hungry garbage, and certainly don’t tell me he would be “a distraction.” Tell us the truth; tell us that you won’t sign him because of his public protests that triggered millions.

If you can’t give us that, then YOU are the embodiment of what Kaepernick’s protest was all about.

I am a proud graduate of Beverly High School and a senior at UMass Lowell majoring in English and minoring in digital media. In addition to being a staff writer and the Managing Editor for The Connector, I am also the Sports Director at the college's radio station, WUML. If you want to talk to me directly about any of my works, feel free to email me at Alexander_Salucco@student.uml.edu. Catch me every UMass Lowell Hokcey home game on 91.5 fm.

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2 Comments

  1. Kevin said:

    He was the 29th ranked qb according to pff. He had the worst qb rating with a clean pocket. He doesn’t practice what he preaches by not voting and selling out when the money dried up.

    He also runs almost exclusively out of the pistol. He’s a garbage qb who will end up as a backup at 3 million per. If he continues to ask for more than that he won’t get it.

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