Tag Archives: Anthem protest

Best Fits For Colin Kaepernick

That is if he isn’t REALLY being blackballed by NFL owners and executives.

Colin Kaepernick still has something left in the tank, but where will he get to display it next is the question. Photo Credit: NFL

Colin Kaepernick deserves a chance to play in the NFL. I won’t go over the list of quarterbacks who can’t compare to him that have already been signed this offseason. That angle has been beaten to death. Rather I’d like to look at the team’s that should be in demand of his skill set.

Let me also set this up by acknowledging that Kaepernick is in starting QB purgatory. He’s like an award winning lead actor who’s had several Box Office flops and now studios only inquire about his interest in a supporting role until he can get that “it” back that sold out theaters. It’s like that episode of “Entourage” when Vincent Chase had to settle for the supporting role in the “Smokejumpers” film after his fallout with Alan the head of Warner Brothers over the “Aquaman” sequel and “Medellin.” Like Vince’s agent Ari Gold told him “you’re in movie star jail.” That’s Kaepernick’s situation now.

Even though the last few seasons with the San Francisco 49ers wasn’t Colin’s fault, you can blame Owner Jed York and General manager Trent Baalke for that, Colin has to accept the fact that he’s not a starting QB right now. I put emphasis on right now. That’s not to say he still can’t be, it’s just that no team is going to invest in him being their starter at this point.

As far as his play, Colin is the definition of a dual threat quarterback. He’s not the historic prototype like Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck. So he can’t fit into any system and thrive. Think of the trouble Michael Vick had finding a team in his latter years. Kaepernick needs to be in a system where the incumbent starter does many of the same things he does best and the offense resembles the read option that helped him when he led the Niners to the Super Bowl and the NFC title game the season after.

The goal for him should be to get on a team that will help him best show that his skills haven’t eroded, just the situation around him in “The Bay” did, and possibly gain a starting offer for 2018.

With that being said, these are the teams I think he’ll be a great fit for as a backup. All of these teams have entrenched starters who play similar to the way Colin played in his best days. None of these teams would have to change their offensive schemes to fit Colin if he were called upon. That’s the “football reason” many are using to avoid signing him.

Seattle Seahawks. Can you name the Seahawks backup QB? Didn’t think so. It’s Trevone Boykin who has some off-the-field issues he has to deal with this offseason. You wouldn’t know that because Russell Wilson hasn’t missed much time since he took over in the great northwest. However, their offense suits the superior athleticism and improvisation both Wilson and Kaepernick thrive on. Wilson also struggled with some lower leg injuries last season that he played through when he probably shouldn’t have if they had a capable backup on the roster.

Plus, that locker room and head coach Pete Carroll is tailor made to handle the “distractions” that will come with signing Kaep. Plus many of the guys in that locker room agree with his anthem protest, which he says he won’t continue this season.

Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton takes a beating, which is why he just had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. Derek Anderson is currently his backup. He’s a totally different QB than Cam, thus the Panthers would have to drastically alter their gameplan  if he’s needed to take snaps. Anderson is more suited to be Andrew Luck or Ben Roethlisberger’s backup. Kaep would allow Carolina to keep their same physical run first style in any absence of Newton.

Tennessee Titans. Marcus Mariotta is coming off a late season broken leg that could slow him down to start the 2017 season. His understudy is Matt Cassell. Those two couldn’t be any different. The Titans are also a run first offense with read option concepts. They rely heavily on their running backs DeMarco Murray and 2-year back Derrick Henry.

Buffalo Bills. If Tyrod Taylor really is their franchise QB, it makes more sense to have Kaepernick behind him than Cardale Jones, who I love, but is more like Roethlisberger or Carson Palmer. The Bills also have a strong running game led by LeSean Mccoy. Notice a theme here?

Miami Dolphins. Despite his size (6’4″ 216) Ryan Tannehill, a former wide receiver at Texas A&M, plays a more mobile game than pocket passer. Miami’s a more heavy rushing offense with Jay Ajayi in their backfield, with many read option concepts. Their backup is Matt Moore, who is more of a pocket passer. Moore is a career backup, which is why he’s in Miami, but as he showed when Tannehill was injured late last season, he can’t duplicate the success of the starter that helped get the Dolphins into the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.

Dallas Cowboys. With Tony Romo retired that leaves a significant void behind Dak Prescott. Right now the backup is Kellen Moore. You sure you want him to be the 2nd option? Remember how he fared in 2015 when Romo was injured for most of the season? You may say “the Cowboys wanted to move on from Romo because they don’t need Dak looking over his shoulder.” Like I said previously, at this point Kaepernick is a backup. Romo had shown when he is healthy that he’s a starter. That’s why there was a distraction, because everyone assumed Dallas would be better than they were with Dak if Romo was in the lineup. No one would be making those assumptions with Kaepernick. But Cowboy fans would feel much safer with him on the roster in case Dak were injured or suffered from a “Sophomore Slump.” Plus they have 2016 NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott, keeping with my run first theme.

All these teams I’ve looked at are heavy rushing offenses. That’s what the 49ers were in their best days with Kaepernick under center with the franchise’s all-time leading rushing Frank Gore in the backfield. Also with their style of play, they put the starter in harms way often. Signing Kaepernick would be the best insurance policy out there. After a season excelling as a backup it’s likely he’d get one of those deals Mike Glennon jut got.

Now that there is one less quarterback option on the market for teams in need, Kaepernick’s name should be coming up more. Hopefully his unemployment will end very soon, if not then we know what it is.

So, Were You This Upset With Those Fought Against The Pledge of Allegiance?

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the National Anthem to bring awareness to social injustice against people of color in America.

There’s one thing that hasn’t been mentioned in mainstream media, social media, and the barber shops in the debates and rhetoric over the national anthem protests initially started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the NFL preseason. Are those who are upset over the players protests, this upset with those who’ve fought (and are still fighting) against the pledge of allegiance from schools and other events? To me, that is more unpatriotic and disrespectful to America. 

I’m old enough, but still young enough, to remember when we recited the pledge in school work each day. But when I switched from private school to Columbus (OH) Public Schools in 1987 at age 7 (second grade), no school I went to after that recited the pledge, EVER. I’ve spoken with several family, friends and co-workers my age and older who experienced the same. Only one person in almost two dozen I asked recited the pledge through High School graduation. I have nieces and nephews in Columbus Ohio, Houston Texas, Thomaston and Statesboro Georgia, as well as Palm Coast Florida from ages 17 to 5 who haven’t recited or learned the pledge at school.

Not to bore you with legalese, but here’s some information for you about the fight over the pledge. First, in the case of The West Virginia State Board of Education versus Barnette (1943), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled requiring a person to recite the pledge violates a persons first and fourteenth amendment rights. The only time the pledge was ever ruled unconstitutional was in 2005 by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton of U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of California in Sacramento. And in January of 2009, in the case of  Frazier vs. Alexandre – The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling stating schools could excuse a student from the pledge with a note from a parent. There are many more cases where the pledge has been fought, click here if you want to learn more. 

I point out those court battles to say, even without any legal precedent requiring or mandating  schools to stop reciting the pledge of allegiance, no one stood up and made sure it’s being done every morning, nor did anyone say we were being disrespectful and unpatriotic for not doing so. No one said the people fighting the pledge were disrespecting the veterans, the flag, or this country. In all the cases lost by a plaintiff fighting to remove the pledge or “under God” from it, the presiding judge said in some form that “the pledge is an exercise in patriotism.” That is why in my opinion, it is more important than the anthem because it is a show of your loyalty to America.

Standing up for the national anthem doesn’t make a person any more American than eating hot dogs and hamburgers while shooting off fireworks on the 4th of July could. Most people are like zombies during the anthem anyway. Take a look around next time you’re in an arena or stadium while it’s being played. You’ll see what I’m talking about, most people don’t even remove their hats out of respect when they are asked too.

But pledging your allegiance is an actual action that professes your commitment to the values for which the flag is SUPPOSED to represent. Which is what Colin Kaepernick and others are upset about. The values of that flag aren’t being kept. At least not for ALL Americans.

Eagles players raised their fist in protest during the National Anthem before Mondat Night Football at Soldier Field in Chicago.

As far as my feelings about athletes’ anthem protests, I choose to slightly modify the words comedian Chris Rock and say “I wouldn’t do it, but I understand.” The reason I say I wouldn’t participate in anthem protests, is not because I don’t agree with Kaepernick and others’ issues with social injustices in this country that I as a black man and other black and brown people have experienced, but because anthem protest have been done before and it has been proven throughout history that those we want to hear us will turn a deaf ear when that stance is taken. Case in point, Tommie Smith, John Carlos and Mahmoud Abdu-Rauf (aka Chris Jackson).

I don’t necessarily have a better idea for a protest. But, the players who want to protest could do so by not playing. Especially the big name, marquee players who the games revolves around. That method would probably work better in the NBA. We’ll see what happens when they tip-off in late October.

For those who say the anthem should be changed to something less racist like “America the beautiful”, I agree with you. First, it’s a better sounding and more moving song. But most importantly, for me as a devout Christian, within the lyrics it says “God bless America for me” and I agree with any sentiment that asks God to take control of this country. Lord knows we need it. But we know a drastic move like changing the anthem is never going to happen, because those that are in favor of removing the pledge because it required those who didn’t believe in a higher power to say “one nation under God” are the same people who won’t want the national anthem to evoke the name of God either. So you can scratch that. 

But back to my original point of writing this. If kneeling, raising a fist or turning your back during the national anthem is disrespectful and un-American, then why isn’t fighting to remove the pledge? Or not reciting the pledge at all? I think I know why. It’s because the anthem protests don’t suit your agenda, like it did when when you fought against the pledge because it was “too religious” for you or was “forcing religion” on you. Like I said, anybody can stand and remove their hat for the anthem (which again, most don’t, but we don’t make a big deal about that!) But it takes a REAL PATRIOT to pledge their allegiance and loyalty to their country. So who’s REALLY being disrespectful to America? And why aren’t you mad about that?!