I’ve been pondering how to approach the whole Colin Kaepernick/NFL fallout over the weekend.
I mean I want to bash the NFL, but I find myself being taken aback as to how Kaepernick had handled himself during and after the workout put on by the league. And there have been SO many talking heads taking shots at the NFL and Kaepernick. So color my ass a bit flummoxed.
So in order to get my thoughts more aligned, let me lay out a few facts of the failed NFL/Kaepernick practice fallout.
First, the NFL hastily set up a Saturday workout for Kaepernick where 24 of the 32 teams pledged to attend. Now I had my doubts about who would actually attend because Saturdays are when teams travel, which means at least HALF of the head coaches and general managers would not be able to attend. Speaking of those coaches, most if not all usually make last minute tweaks and preparations to game plans as well as supervising walk-throughs before the games.
And what about the scouts, you might ask? Well, a lot of them wouldn’t be available because they would be at college games on Saturdays doing some, well, SCOUTING.
So at best, the team reps would have likely been the assistant TO THE assistant general manager or some entry-level scouts.
Second, the NFL wanted the workouts to take place at the Atlanta Falcons’ facility in Flowery Branch. The only condition was that cameras were not allowed from the outside as the league, which Kaepernick balked at (more on that later).
The league also wanted Kaepernick to sign a waiver to protect itself from future lawsuits and prevent the blackballed quarterback from pursuing legal action against the NFL for collusion or retaliation. In fact, the waiver was so egregious, a lawyer went on record and called it “malpractice”. So there is little wonder that Kaepernick, or ANY player, would sign such a thing.
Which brings us to Kaepernick.
Apparently he and his team were shocked that the NFL arranged such a workout on short notice, so shocked that he asked for the workout to be moved to the following week. He also wanted the workout to occur on a Tuesday (most NFL teams’ off day), so more executives and coaches would come watch.
The league balked at that and told him to essentially “take it or leave it”.
Kaepernick, who wanted camera crews and news outlets to film the workout in the spirit of “transparency”, conducted his own workouts at a high school that is not only on the south side of Atlanta, it’s almost an hour drive from the Falcons’ facilities in Flowery Branch.
He also decided to wear a Kunta Kinte t-shirt, and proceeded to talk shit to the NFL owners.
Bet y’all wondering, “hey negro, who the hell should bear the blame in all this?” I believe both the league and Kaepernick were both in the wrong.
I have questions for the NFL.
First of all, did the NFL really think Kaepernick would sign a document that would essentially neuter his chances to sue the league if it didn’t act in good faith in hiring him? What if the league wanted to use the workouts to get themselves out of future litigation?
Why would the NFL re-open a healing scab?
Last I checked, business is booming. Ratings are up, revenue is a lot higher, and fans have been coming back around. Why risk tarnishing all of that by bringing this back into our consciences?
Also, if the teams were REALLY as interested as reports would later claim, why the hell would they wait THREE YEARS after the fact? If teams were really as sincere as they led us to believe, Kaepernick would already be on a roster and the whole controversy would have gone away by now.
And yes, I have questions for Kaepernick.
If he has a deep distrust for the NFL, why get back in the bed with them? If I was dating a girl I didn’t trust, why the hell would I stay all the way to the altar? No need to waste my time, right?
Also, if he REALLY wanted back in the NFL, why balk at signing the waiver and talk shit at the end of the workouts? To me, if he wanted back in, he’d have thrown caution into the wind by signing the waiver and hoping for the best.
Most, if not all, of us work at places where things are questionable from the culture to ethics. Yet, we stomach such questionable things because 1) we like what we do and 2) we want to secure that bag. It’s fucked up, but it is what it is.
And finally, brotherman decided to wear that Kunte Kinte t-shirt at what was essentially a job interview. Is he trying to be an NFL player or a hotep?
So here is my little takeaway: 1) Kaepernick is cool with not playing another down in the NFL; 2) the NFL wasn’t serious in giving Kaepernick a chance of employment. In other words, both sides are sick and tired of each other.
It was a waste of everyone’s time — and I hate having my time wasted…