Colin Kaepernick has likely ended any chance of playing in the NFL ever again by filing a grievance against the league. And while the merits of his collusion case remain up for debate, at least one player has no doubt about where he stands.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has looked around at the league and seen the quarterbacks signed, both as backups and as starters for injured regulars, and has come to a conclusion about Kaepernick: that team owners “had a point to make and they made it.”
He noted on Tuesday that teams have used a variety of dodges to explain why Kaepernick isn’t on a team. “You hear every excuse in the world,” Sherman said. “‘It’s not this system, this system doesn’t work for him’—these quarterbacks are terrible in any system; there are quarterbacks that are bad in every system. And so what?”
The most likely reason for not signing Kaepernick, and the one teams are just now beginning to hint at, is the fact that Kaepernick would be a “distraction,” at least to start. A team would draw significant media and fan attention—and blowback—for signing Kaepernick, whose protests during the national anthem in the 2016 preseason kicked off the protests that continue to this day. Of course, the “distraction” angle weakens when considering how team owners like Jerry Jones have set off the equivalent of fireworks in the middle of their locker rooms with stand-or-go directives.
Sherman mentioned Jones’ mandate, pointing out that he believed it “wasn’t necessarily the best way to put anything or the best way to say anything or the best way to get your message across.” However, he added, there has been no such directive from the Seattle front office to stand for the anthem.
“No,” Sherman said. “We got, as the politicians would say, a very ‘liberal’ team ownership.”
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