As Colin Kaepernick waits by the phone for a call from an NFL team, think pieces detailing the “injustice” put upon continue to roll in.
Various supporters have implored an NFL team to give him an opportunity.
But a recent column on Kaepernick takes the cake on agenda-driven rhetoric writ large.
A journalist posited that Kaepernick may be able to sue the NFL.
From the Undefeated:
While Colin Kaepernick awaits an offer that’s unlikely to come to rejoin the NFL, could he take his fight from the court of public opinion to a court of law? The NFL is under no legal requirement to employ Kaepernick. No judge could compel a team to sign him. But the quarterback, who has been passed over repeatedly for jobs this offseason — jobs that have gone to far less accomplished passers — could potentially sue the league.
The NFL shut out Kaepernick after his season-long peaceful protest. He chose not to stand during the national anthem, first sitting and then kneeling in an effort to draw attention to the oppression of black people and people of color, which infuriated decision-makers, according to many coaches and players. Commissioner Roger Goodell refutes the claim that the NFL is punishing Kaepernick for his anthem protest and is determined to end his career. Teams are “going to do whatever it takes to make their football team better,” Goodell said at an event in Los Angeles earlier this month. “If a football team feels that Colin Kaepernick … is going to improve that team, they’re going to [sign] him.”
It’s clear, however, what has happened to Kaepernick. All anyone has to do to see it is open their eyes, USC law professor Jody David Armour said.
“Some people will say that he isn’t with a team because he hasn’t earned it on the merits, he hasn’t earned it with his performance, not because owners and others have issues with his political positions,” said Armour, author of Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America.
So the only way that Kaepernick would have a viable lawsuit would be if he could show they were using an illegal reason” not to sign him. “And illegal reasons could include … race discrimination.”
Kaepernick would face another problem unique to his field, said Victor M. Glasberg, a longtime civil rights attorney. The NFL is almost 70 percent black, so “a team that has hired, hires and is full of African-Americans is not one that’s going to be able to be painted as [an organization] that’s not hiring somebody because of their race,” said Glasberg, whose Virginia-based firm is included in a U.S. News and World Report nationwide listing of the “best law firms for civil rights work.”
Even some of Kaepernick’s detractors in the NFL privately concede that he’s good enough to have a place in the sport, and it’s not fair his career has been derailed for trying to help others. “But no matter where you stand on what he did, he’s just not worth the hassle,” an NFL offensive playcaller said.
[Armour added] “But what they’re doing is sending a deterrent signal out to all other players. They’re sending a signal to anyone who might be thinking about taking unpopular political stances and supporting maligned and marginalized groups: We want you to see what can happen to you. Look what happened to Kaepernick.”
The anonymous offensive coordinator said it best: “he’s just not worth the hassle.”
If Kaepernick had performed last year like he did during the 49ers’ two deep playoff runs, he would be starting for a team right now.
But he didn’t. His play fell off precipitously, and he went 3-15 in his last 18 starts.
Couple that with his dubious desire to continue his career and his status as a flashpoint for controversy, a cardinal sin for a backup quarterback, he is far from a slam dunk signee.
As for the blackball narrative, it’s asinine to think that 32 billionaires got together in a room and opened themselves up to public ridicule as well as an ugly lawsuit simply to make an example out of Colin Kaepernick.
This isn’t a grand conspiracy. Thirty-two NFL teams each independently decided not to sign Kaepernick. End of story.
As for the other players who joined Kaepernick in protest, none of their careers have been jeopardized.