Hypocrisy is funny thing.
We are all guilty of it. We’ve all said something, then done the opposite. We’ve all given advice and not taken it ourselves. Sometimes, hypocrisy is excusable, like when I tell my dieting friend they should opt for carrot sticks over that tasty-looking doughnut, yet I find myself at Dunkin later in the day. Even though they may not be good for me, sometimes a girl just really needs a doughnut!
However, sometimes there are less innocent and very much so more inexcusable forms of hypocrisy.
The NFL is currently dealing in the latter.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is currently a free agent looking for a job on any football team’s roster. The former starting QB is likely not looking at a starting position, but he would make for a very solid #2 option. When you are looking at the stats for 2016, Kap had a completion percentage of 59.2% – not bad, all things considered. He also had a QBR (QB rating) of 55. That stat is not very good, but considering the dearth of marginally good starting QBs in the NFL, it isn’t disqualifying. The one thing that sets Kap apart from a lot of QBs is that he runs. His game is mobile, which is why he thrived under Jim Harbaugh, who built his team around a mobile QB. In 2016, he rushed for 468 yards on 69 attempts, which averages out to 6.8 yards per carry. Most running backs do not have stats like that.
In other words, Kap’s stats are not great, but they are not that bad. In a world where people keep signing the Josh McGowns and the RGIIIs of the world, there is no good reason why Kap should not be on an NFL roster. He may not warrant a starting position, but he should be on a roster as a back-up. So why isn’t he?
No, it’s not injured.
Him taking a knee during the national anthem is why he is not welcome on a NFL team.
Prior to the 2016 season, Kap, saddened and disheartened by the police violence against minorities, decided to peacefully protest by not standing for the national anthem. It was his way of showing solidarity to the victims of police brutality without causing a riot or violence. Kneeling was his way of showing the world this was a cause that meant a lot to him.
I’m going to level with you guys: prior to the 2016 season, I couldn’t stand Colin Kaepernick. I’m an Arizona Cardinals fan, so I have a natural dislike of the QBs in my division. Sure, Russell Wilson is a good man, but I hate his guts when he’s playing the Cards. And whatever QB is starting for the Rams is never someone I want to see playing well (of course they rarely do). But for me, Kap represented a different kind of QB: the entitled, athletic, and successful QB. The kind of player that generally rubs me the wrong way.
However, once Kap started taking more of an interest in politics and social issues, I began to see a different side to the divisive QB. I was completely in support of his protest because I too was saddened by the unjust deaths caused by police officers. I’m all about protesting! I love it as long as people don’t get hurt and property doesn’t get destroyed. He never pleaded for other players to join him and he promised to donate money to several charities throughout the season. And Kap’s protest was meant to be quiet and peaceful, so what’s wrong with that?
I forgot that in the NFL, nothing can be quiet or peaceful.
As soon as media outlets discovered Kap wasn’t standing for the anthem, chaos ensued. And because it’s the NFL, the chaos was even more ridiculous than usual. Some fans were praising Kap and others were demanding he be suspended. Nightly show comedians were doing segments about him. Conservative pundits were destroying him and calling him un-American and liberal pundits were praising his efforts. Even veterans were on Twitter saying they supported his right to protest, even if not everyone supported the protest. It seemed as if every person had an opinion on his peaceful protest.
The 2016 football season has come and gone, but Kap still remains a much-talked about man. People are wondering where he will land or if he will even play in the NFL ever again. This week, as free agency continues, the conversation seems to be getting louder. Reporters are asking General Managers across the league why they won’t even give Kap a workout. Most are saying that his stats are miserable. Okay, yeah, they aren’t great, but they are no worse than many other currently employed QBs. Only a few have been honest and say that they don’t want to deal with the media frenzy that will surely ensue. One even said they don’t want President Trump to tweet at them.
I’m not surprised by what the honest owners are saying. It’s hard to sign a statistically average player when you know a media circus will ensue.
Let me rephrase: It’s hard to sign a statistically average player when he has not beat a woman, killed a guy, hurt some dogs, or committed some other felony, but rather committed a peaceful protest in the NFL, where they pay for patriotism.
Yes, I went there.
Isn’t it pretty messed up that you see coaches and GMs and owners coming to the defense of basic human garbage? Yet none of them will admit that Kap has made an impact in the community and forced a nation to have a conversation about racial injustice and police brutality? How many times during press conferences do you see a GM or coach try to defend a wife beater? A felon? It’s all about second chances, they say. It’s all about the guy being a changed man, they say.
My understanding is that teams would rather bring in guys who are felons than a guy who took a knee during the anthem. Don’t you find that terrifically hypocritical? The NFL tries to celebrate their players doing charitable work, yet no higher ups will even acknowledge the work Kap has been doing off-the-field. Just in the last few days, Kap was one of the people who helped raise funds for famine-ravaged Somalia (one of the countries on Trump’s travel ban list FYI). Not only did he help raise funds, he secured a plane and a pilot to deliver the supplies.
So far, Kap has put his money and time where is mouth (and knee) is, which is more than many others can say. He is working tirelessly to better communities in the USA and around the world. Yet somehow, his “offense” is more egregious than others. Human trash like Greg Hardy can beat the living tar out of a woman and still get a team like the Cowboys to sign him. You can argue that players like Greg Hardy are good enough that their off-the-field discretions mean nothing because they can produce on the field. Except guess what? After Greg Hardy’s suspension, he played averagely. He was an average player, but he still got onto an NFL roster. Kap is an average QB in a league that is starved for average QBs.
The NFL can take their hypocrisy and shove it up their ass. That’s harsh, but I am so tired of seeing the NFL bend the rules for some players and pick and choose what players are doing noble work. I am so tired of seeing mediocre players who do horrific things get second chances while a guy who has literally done nothing wrong is getting black-balled. It’s repugnant. It’s disgusting. It’s unacceptable.
Funnily enough, Donald Trump did reference Colin Kaepernick at a rally in Kentucky a few days ago. He insulted the QB and said that people in Kentucky obviously “like people who actually stand for the American flag”. Instead of talking about how he wanted to defund programs like Meals on Wheels, PBS, and adding billions to the military budget, he talked about the QB and made fun of the team offices who would were afraid the president might tweet them.
Shortly after the comments were made, Colin Kaepernick donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels.
Yeah. Kap sure seems like a bad dude, right? Except bad dudes are given a second a chance in the NFL. Good dudes who don’t stand for the anthem apparently don’t get a second chance.
Take your hypocrisy and shove it, NFL.