In the immediate aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police officers, white America experienced a reckoning of sorts. Record labels apologized for historically exploiting Black artists, cities painted murals in recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement, racists got outed, institutions distanced themselves from their oppressive origins—basically, white folks gave a half-hearted effort to pretend like racism and police brutality were merely a figment of our collective imagination.
There was even talk that Colin Kaepernick, who has languished in football purgatory since he dared to extol the value and virtue of Black lives, would finally escape exile and resume his career in the NFL.
As we previously reported at The Root, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell “encouraged” NFL teams to sign Kap, and Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn openly expressed interest in giving him a workout—seemingly confirming a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport that the sudden interest teams had in Kap was “very real.”
“This is a big step forward,” Rapoport told the NFL Network in June. “Just canvassing the league, talking to several different head coaches, there is far, far more interest in Colin Kaepernick right now than there really has been I believe any time in the last three or four years.”
Except it was all bullshit.
According to Mike Florio of NBC Sports, that “fake” interest was actually just white guilt and Kap’s been an afterthought for “months.”
From NBC Sports:
“At one point along the way, NFL Media reported that teams had contacted “friends and associates” of Kaepernick, and that they would be contacting his agent when they “get to the point where they’re confident enough that they think they can work out a contract.” So either they never got to the point of confidence that they can work out a contract, or it was all just more bullshit.”
I’m gonna go with it was “just more bullshit.”
What makes the apparent lack of interest even more confounding is the fact that a single COVID-19 outbreak could derail the NFL’s entire season. So you’d think that teams would take every precaution possible, especially at the quarterback position, to ensure that they have the best chance of winning every time they take the field.
To that end, the Philadelphia Eagles just signed 41-year-old Josh McGown as a fourth quarterback to cover their asses in case the coronavirus puts any of their other three in a headlock. So while Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, and 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts will man the active roster, the Eagles will be paying a perennial failure (his career record as a starter is 23-53) $12,000 a week to stay his ass home and hop on Zoom for “practices.”
Are you really trying to tell me that in a league hurting for quality quarterback play that Kaepernick isn’t even worth a look as a pre-emptive emergency quarantine option?
We’ve heard people like Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll insist that Kap is without a job because he’s too good to be a backup, yet Kap hasn’t even been made an offer to be a backup—ever. So why are they assuming that he doesn’t want the job without even asking him?
Imagine you sitting around as a child, starving for cake and ice cream at a birthday party, and one of the parents tells you that you don’t want cake and ice cream without even asking you if you wanted any.
The NFL is full of shit.
And trotting out social justice messaging in the end zone or slapping tributes to victims of police brutality on helmets this season does absolutely nothing to change that. Because at the end of the day, it’s abundantly clear that the NFL could give less than a shit about Black lives when white dollars have always taken precedence.