The controversy around former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began on September 1, 2016, when he knelt during the National Anthem to protest police brutality. Since then, he’s lost his position and been a lightning rod at the center of a contentious political conversation.
It came out on Sunday morning that President Trump may have used his financial sway with many team owners in the NFL to prevent Kaepernick from getting a spot on the team.
This is extraordinarily obvious. Every NFL owner knows that if they allow Kap on their team they are going to be excoriated by Trump.
— Mike Farquad (@FarquadMike) September 29, 2019
ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith explained on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning that team owners could potentially lose billions of dollars in revenue if they went against Trump, who has been vocal in his hatred of Kaepernick. The NFL is currently trying to get gambling legalized, and that requires the thumbs up from the President and Congress.
“Well, what was going on on Capitol Hill is that the owners, the NFL owners were trying to get involved with that, where they were trying to get a percentage of the bets and all of this other stuff that was going on. So what happens is, we’re talking billions. Well, guess what? In order for that to happen, you need Congress to sign off on it and you need the President to sign off on it. What you don’t need is the President turning his attention towards you and going against you just because he doesn’t like you.”
I agree! Time for Colin Kaeleenick to speak up or else wait til trump leaves WH. Owners are in Trump's pocket. Main reason Kaep not playing! Colin Kaepernick Gets Eye-Opening Critique from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith https://t.co/AUmngeriXr via @heavysan
— Libby Harris (@LibbyHa80071391) September 29, 2019
Fans were outraged by this news, arguing that Kaepernick has been punished for too long. Many pointed out that Antonio Brown, who has been accused of rape and sexual assault, has been given multiple changes despite the horrific allegations.
Reminder: The Patriots gave Antonio Brown a chance. No team has given Colin Kaepernick a chance for three seasons. Not a workout… not an offer…
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) September 20, 2019
Even former Fox News pundit Gretchen Carlson thinks that the Kaepernick business is over the top.
I’m a patriot and believe in our flag but there’s a quarterback shortage in the @NFL and no team will hire @Kaepernick7 but they did #AntonioBrown? What does that say about how we value or don’t value violence against women in our society?
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) September 21, 2019
Still, as is the case with anything political, there are plenty of people tweeting their continued boycotting of Kaepernick. He’ll likely be an incendiary figure no matter how this deal shakes out.