Colin Kaepernick’s career has been a rollercoaster ride. As quickly as he burst onto the scene as a wunderkind, he found himself riding the bench behind fringe NFL quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
After the San Francisco 49ers parted ways with Kaepernick, Donald Trump suggested no NFL team would sign Kaepernick (because of his anthem protest) in order to avoid a nasty tweet from the commander-in-chief.
The latest turn in Kaepernick’s story now involves an avowed socialist making an entreaty on his behalf.
City councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who has called for anti-Trump activism on several occasions, made a plea to Seattle Seahawks brain trust to sign the embattled quarterback.
From CBS Sports:
If Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant ran the Seahawks’ front office, it sounds like the first — and only — player she would sign is Colin Kaepernick.
Sawant, a socialist who has been a city council member since 2014, believes that Kaepernick would be welcomed in Seattle.
In a strong showing of support for the quarterback, Sawant wrote a letter to the team on Friday urging the Seahawks to add their former division rival.
“Dear Seattle Seahawks General Manager John Schneider, Head Coach Pete Carroll, and Owner Paul Allen,” Sawant writes in the letter. “I am writing to convey that Colin Kaepernick would be welcome in Seattle, and to encourage you to take the opportunity to sign him as the Seahawks’ backup quarterback.”
The letter comes exactly one week after Seahawks coach Pete Carroll mentioned that his team might consider signing Kaepernick to fill the backup quarterback spot.
Kaepernick has been a free agent since March 1 when he opted out of his contract with the 49ers. Over the last 10 weeks, his free agency has slowly turned into a controversy, with many NFL fans across the country believing that the quarterback is being blackballed by the NFL’s 32 teams over the fact that he protested racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling for the national anthem in 2016.
Sawant, who admits she doesn’t know much about football, says that if teams are blackballing Kaepernick, then “shame on them.”
“I am not a football expert, but everything I have read strongly suggests that the only reason a player with Kaepernick’s skills is still a free agent is because of the backlash against his courageous leadership last year against racism, brutality, and discrimination,” Sawant wrote. “If that makes other teams wary of signing him, shame on them. In Seattle, we know our communities will only benefit from his activism as well as his talents on the field.”
Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett recently mentioned that Seattle would be the perfect landing spot for Kaepernick, and Sawant clearly feels the same way.
“I agree wholeheartedly with Michael Bennett that Seattle is the perfect place for Kaepernick,” Sawant wrote. “The NFL has an influence on the ideas and attitudes of young people. As you assemble your team, it would be a poor message for you to send to young people that speaking out against racism, police violence, and economic inequality is ‘toxic’ and will be punished rather than applauded.”
Sawant also added most people in Seattle would likely “welcome” Kaepernick.
“The working people of Seattle and our youth will be proud to welcome Colin Kaepernick,” Sawant wrote. “Please do everything in your power to sign him to the Seahawks. Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Kaepernick’s free agency has now gone full-blown political. Sawant admits she knows nothing about football, yet still strongly advocates for his addition to the team.
Kaepernick is talented enough to be a backup quarterback in the league, but he has very clear deficiencies as a player. He’s more improvisational than methodical, which coaches don’t want in a backup; coaches want a backup who won’t make unnecessary mistakes.
When balancing his on-field faults with his potential locker-room volatility and propensity for being a media lightning rod, he would be a high-risk acquisition. There’s also a report he was seeking a contract far higher than the going rate for backup quarterbacks.
Kaepernick has a shot to make a roster, but if he doesn’t, it won’t purely be just because of his politics.