The NFL Players Association stands ready to help Colin Kaepernick with whatever he wants, whenever he asks them to do it.
That’s the substance of the message coming from NFLPA President Eric Winston in an interview with Dom Cosentino of Deadspin. When asked what kind of contact the union has had with Kaepernick, Winston said: “We’ve been in contact with Colin’s representatives, and we’ve let them know that we’re there and ready to help with whatever they’d like — whether it’s just some guidance on P.R. or whatever. I know they’ve chosen to lay low, and I respect that. Every player has to make a decision on how they want the union’s help, and I completely understand that, and that’s fine.
“The union’s always stood ready to help him in any way that we need to. We will continue to monitor that situation, we’ll continue to do anything that we can to make sure that he has another opportunity to play. At the end of the day, that’s really it. We’re not going to force ourselves on a player. He’s calling the shots, he wants what he wants, and I respect that, and that’s what we’ll do.”
When asked whether Kaepernick is being blackballed by the league? Winston said, “Of Course. You definitely get that feeling [that he’s being blackballed] — obviously, that’s very hard to prove and it’s very hard to show. But, at the same time, for Christ’s sakes, you have an owner out there publicly saying, ‘I’m polling fans to decide whether I should have this guy on my team or not.’ It’s obvious that owners are scared of it, are worried about it.
“That’s fine. I guess that’s their business or whatever. But it kind of seems a little ridiculous to me. To act like Colin isn’t one of the top — let’s just call it 64 quarterbacks in the world right now is even more disingenuous. The fact that he’s not on a team right now, I think, kind of speaks to that. It’s kind of pretty silly.”
While Kaepernick remains unemployed, some players have continued his protests of last year. On Saturday night, Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem in Arizona.