Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick
Photo: Scott Cunningham (Getty Images)

You have a better chance of becoming a Shaolin monk then you do working at The Root. To work at The Root requires a written examination, then there is a talent competition, and a rigorous oral exam that includes questions on black history, Spades bidding, Kool-Aid making and the proper kick-turn technique when performing the Electric Slide.

Staff Writer Michael Harriot got tripped up on the up north way to seasons collards (no it doesn’t include any pig parts); I almost lost the job when I couldn’t recall the second verse of Johnny Gill’s classic My My My. Nevertheless The Root doesn’t watch NFL football, except for political editor Jason Johnson who was ruled exempt when he was able to recite the lyrics to Bone Thugs N Harmony’s “Crossroads.” (Actually, no one knows if he was correct, but he did really well on the Kool-Aid portion of the exam.)

So when we collectively learned late that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was out for the rest of the year after suffering a season-ending ACL tear, we were excited. It’s not that we were happy that Garoppolo was injured, but since the 49ersis one of the few teams that hasn’t discouraged players from protesting and they are also Colin Kaepernick’s former team, all signs pointed to an eventual reunion between the glorious afro that once was and his former team.

Even some non-black 49ers fans were even calling for Kaepernick’s return. After the team released the names of quarterbacks it was considering, not only did the list not include Kaepernick’s name, the names it did include were a joke.

Here’s how Jared Dubin at CBS Sports explains these trash ass options.

Tom Savage went 1-6 as the Texans’ starter last season, while throwing five touchdowns against six interceptions. Kellen Clemens hasn’t thrown more than eight passes in a season since 2013, and that year he completed south of 59 percent of his passes at just 6.9 yards per attempt. T.J. Yates has thrown 11 interceptions in 324 career passes. Matt Moore hasn’t been a regular starter since 2011 and was dreadful during two games filling in for Jay Cutler in Miami last year. Nick Mullens is a practice squad player who played at just a slightly above average level in Conference USA.

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When head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked if they had considered Kaepernick, Shanahan noted that they hadn’t because that he doesn’t believe that Kap fits the system which is NFL white-speak for “I don’t see color” or “my closest friend is black.”

So, Harriot and I have come up with a comprehensive and exhaustive list of why signing Kaepernick is not only good for the 49ers but even better for the NFL.

1. It Effectively Ends Kaepernick’s Lawsuit

After being whiteballed from the NFL, Kaepernick filed a collusion case against the league claiming that NFL owners conspired to keep him out. Now every team has passed on signing both him and former pro-bowler Eric Reid, his former 49ers teammate who was the first to kneel with him, it’s looking more and more like Kaepernick was right.

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And he is right. The NFL knows this. White America knows this. Trump has preached about this. It’s as clear as Tom Savage’s inability to throw a tennis ball into a whale’s mouth while standing on the beach’s edge that NFL is actively ignoring Kaepernick. Hiring him effectively proves that there is no collusion. Hiring him would also push him to drop the lawsuit which is a win-win for all involved.

2. No Black Player on Any Defense Will Hurt Kaepernick... Ever

Can you imagine a black grandmother hearing that her son sacked “that nice young boy Colin Kaepernick? You wouldn’t get any macaroni at Thanksgiving and you’d have to eat that pumpkin pie made by your cousin Jerome’s white girlfriend.

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Once signed Colin Kaepernick is poised to have a break out year. While the NFL is currently made up of 80 percent African American players, many of them are being hogtied to keep from showing support for Kaepernick’s movement. Eric Reid is proof. If you can effectively whiteball a pro-bowl-level player in the prime of his career coming off a rookie contract, then you have embodied The Root’s unofficial mantra of “Anybody can get it.”

If you are a marginal player with an expiring contract are you willing to risk your livelihood to support Kap? We’ll answer that for you: Fuck no. So signing Kaepernick means that player who couldn’t openly protest could show their support on the field by letting him be amazing. It is impossible to estimate how many touchdowns Kaepernick would throw, but I guarantee he would have zero interceptions because almost every defensive back in the NFL is black and they would suddenly come down with a case of butterfingers even if they threw the ball directly at him.

And even though Kaepernick possesses superior speed and agility, he would never get sacked. Seriously, do you want to be the black player who breaks Kaepernick’s ankle and thusly ends the NFL movement? Does any black player want to be the spoiler to a comeback story for the ages? We’ll answer these as well: Fuck no...

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Do you know how good my grandma’s macaroni tastes?

3. NFL Ratings Would Soar

In the early days when radio executives were trying to figure out why Howard Stern was doing so well, they noticed two trends: People who loved Stern tuned in and people who hated Stern also tuned in. The same thinking works for Kaepernick and has always worked for sports.

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Colin Kaepernick games would easily be the most-watched if for nothing else than those who burned their “Barbecue 7s” will be watching to see him get knocked out of the game, which won’t happen. See, reason 2.

4. It Would Solve America’s Political Problems

Robert Mueller could stop investigating Russian collusion because Donald Trump’s head would explode if the 49ers signed Colin Kaepernick. Mike Pence would probably object, but only if his wife allowed him to do so and also, who gives a fuck what Mike Pence thinks about football? I’m pretty sure Mike Pence only watches church league softball.

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Even if Trump survived his racism aneurism, he would go down as the first president to be impeached for using the n-word in an official document when he issued an executive order banning kneeling during the flag, which would be upheld when 40-year-old-virgin, Kegmaster and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh casts the deciding vote in Kaepernick v Trump.

5. Kaepernick Jersey Sales Would Soar

Never underestimate white people’s love for burning shit. They love to burn shit and this will the flag-fellators something else to burn. And why would the NFL give a shit once they have the money?

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The NFL already knows that black folks would be all over the Kaepernick jersey. Hell, Kap created his own jersey that sold out in a day! It would be the equivalent of a Jordan throwback when he quit basketball that one season to play baseball in Wakanda (The Birmingham Barons play in Wakanda right? I’m pretty sure that’s correct.)

6. There is No Downside

Even if Kaepernick sucks, it’s not like the other options don’t suck too. Plus, the 49ers would become the unofficial team of Black America. Michael Harriot grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan but since Kap was ousted from the league, he can’t stomach to watch cryptkeeper Jerry Jones stalk the sidelines anymore.

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And if Kaepernick plays well, the 49ers could serve as an outlet for white rage. They’d be the bizarro New England Patriots, the official team of white nationalism. (I don’t know if that’s true, but if I was a white nationalist, I’d trumpet Tom Brady as the Aryan example of white superiority.)


Ultimately, no matter how progressive NFL owners claim to be, they won’t sign Kaepernick because of one reason: White Supremacy.

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They aren’t going to allow the inmates to tell them how to run the prison. They can’t control Colin Kaepernick and that’s what scares them the most. In the end, Kaepernick is a free black man and the NFL can’t stand it. He’s proven that his convictions mean more than their money and their interest in putting a winning team on the field. They are willing to go to court and lose just to keep him chained. At least this way they know exactly what to do with him—nothing.

There are even more reasons why the 49ers should sign Kaepernick but I can’t explain them right now...

I’m trying out for the 49ers this afternoon.