WASHINGTON — Former starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick seems to be learning the hard way why athletes rarely take controversial sociopolitical stands, particularly when their production slips into the “take it or leave it” category.
Now, whether you believe he is the subject of a league-wide conspiracy or simply not enough juice for teams to squeeze, Kaepernick is finding it hard to find a job in free agency.
That’s just cold hard business according to Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan.
“I don’t think this is an, ‘Oh my god, Colin Kaepernick is standing up for ____, we can’t employ him.’ It’s a, ‘Uh, we don’t have to employ him. He’s in a weird spot and we don’t want that kind of distraction, whatever you want to call it, inside of our locker room,'” Dukes explained. “‘We’re trying to win football games.'”
Kaepernick’s stance of kneeling during the National Anthem drew the ire of military and police groups in cities across the league. It was difficult to discuss the motivation and validity of the statement without discussing the uncomfortable underlying feelings and overtones.
But is that really preventing Kaepernick from finding employment? Dukes doesn’t think so.
“I don’t believe this is nefarious; I believe this way more calculated and cold of a business transaction that we’re talking about here. Everybody wants to make this about feelings; I don’t think this about feelings. I think it’s about numbers.
“That’s usually what it’s about with people who are very successful at making lots of money.”
Dukes also pointed out players like Jay Cutler who are similarly not-far-removed from seasons of dominant statistical performance. Cutler elected to retire this offseason instead of even consider options in free agency.
“I don’t think he gets a gig before the season starts,” Dukes opined on Kaepernick. “I’m saying no. Where I believe he will get a gig is when the panic sets in for a franchise when their quarterback goes down.
“Did we see what happened when Teddy Bridgewater went down? The panic that swept over the Minnesota Vikings. This happens all the time. These teams, especially if they have something to play for…you don’t think they’re going to swallow all of that and go get Kaepernick? Or at least give him a jingle-jangle?
“I’m guessing their fan base will be more amenable then too, because what’s the bottom line? What do you care more about? The political stance or your team winning? We all know.”