- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Colin Kaepernick is in a bit of a bind.

He used to be a quarterback of somewhat high esteem with the 49ers. But that was pre-2016. Now football fans know him as struggling and unsigned — and non-football fans know him as the guy with the ‘fro who despises his country so much he spent a significant portion of 2016 kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.


Either way, he’s apparently so out-of-luck on the team front he needs a bunch of activists to hold a rally for his cause. It smells a bit of begging, to be honest.

That Kaepernick’s a free agent and doesn’t yet have a team to play for isn’t all that surprising. It’s a simple demonstration of reaping what one sows.

Kaepernick stoked a patriot fire with his inappropriate shows of social justice warring, using his sizable football field platform for something way more than for what it was intended. The NFL can say all it wants about respecting the free speech rights of its players — but as Forbes reported in October of 2016: “Confirmed: NFL Losing Millions of TV Viewers Because of National Anthem Protests.”

The piece goes on to report the near one-third of football fans who said they were less likely to watch broadcast NFL games because of Kaepernick’s racial justice protests.

Who knew?

That’s snarky; the correct response is only everyone.

But now football season is upon us once again, and sadly, for Kaepernick, he’s team-less.

So his social justice allies have stepped in to do him a solid.

They’ve organized a rally on his behalf and set it for Aug. 23 at NFL headquarters in Manhattan. Yep, it’s called the “United We Stand Rally for Colin Kaepernick,” and news of its time and location was spread on Twitter by none other than filmmaker Spike Lee.

Yeah, Spike Lee. There’s a non-controversial figure.

One can only wonder about this rally, though — do the organizers really see it as a convincing argument in the whole Sign Colin Kaepernick movement?

It’s hard to see the draw.

(And all the coaches go: Great, he can throw. But what I really want to know — can he drum up a crowd of angry protesters to fill the city streets?)

This is hardly the way for Kaepernick to convince a reluctant ownership, sensitive to the criticisms — and spending habits — of the ticket-buying public, to send the message, Hey, I Do Want to Play. What this planned rally does is set Kaepernick, once again, as a face of the social justice movement, all the while reminding of his anti-American displays — the same displays, after all, that got him where he is now, a player without a team.

Well, that and his mediocre career completion rate which, at 59.8 percent, puts him around 50 on a list of 185 quarterbacks. In other words: Not enough talent to warrant the political firestorm. Truly, if this planned rally does one thing, it heightens concerns that Kaepernick still hasn’t left behind his penchant for the political — that he would turn toward the activist world in a heartbeat, no matter the call of the football world. And that’s not an easy pill for the fans to ultimately swallow.


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