The sports media is just now learning what was apparent to conservatives and Republicans all last season: that Colin Kaepernick cares an awful lot more about politics than he does about football.
Peter King, from the Monday Morning Quarterback, spent the weekend of the NFL draft with the San Francisco 49ers. During that time, a time spent in close quarters with many of the 49ers staff, King came away with the distinct impression that many in the building felt Kaepernick would rather protest than play football.
King wrote, “I spent a long draft weekend with the Niners in California and there are those in the building who think Kaepernick might actually rather do social justice work full-time than play quarterback.”
King cites Kaepernick’s frequent tweeting about social justice and the Know Your Rights Camps, which the former 49er QB began somewhat recently. However, King also brought up Manhattan, where Kaepernick lives, and his wife Nessa, a DJ in New York City.
King explains, “He emerges in New York City occasionally for noble cause work, last week donating 100 men’s suits to a parole office in Queens, so recipients, recently out of prison, would look more presentable when going on job interviews. I haven’t talked to Kaepernick, so I have no idea what his gut is telling him about what to do with his life. But it’s crazy that a quarterback who four years ago was coming off a Super Bowl appearance and looked to be a long-term answer has no team now and no hot NFL prospects that anyone can see.”
What’s crazier, is that Kaepernick’s true priorities and passions are apparently news to the sports media. Playing quarterback in the NFL has no equal in sports in terms of difficulty and complexity. It’s literally the hardest thing anyone could do in sports, requiring complete and total concentration and channeling of focus.
Yet, after the media turned his protest into the biggest story in sports, certain to engulf him, his team, and obscure everything they would attempt to accomplish on the field, what did Kaepernick do? Did he stop, for the benefit of the team? No, he wore a Fidel Castro T-shirt to a press conference.
How could anyone have seen this and come away with the conclusion that Kaepernick was putting football first?
The sports media wanted so badly for Kaepernick to turn into a permanent statue of protest on television screens every Sunday throughout America, that they forgot all about the fact that you have to actually play really well in order to keep a job in the NFL. In fact, especially if you plan on insulting the flag and all who fought and died for it, you have to play exceedingly great.
Kaepernick, obviously, did not play great, partially due to the fact that he’s never refined and evolved his game to counter defenses who have figured him out. But, in equal part, due to the fact that he was too busy buying pig socks.
It’s still my opinion that Kaepernick will get signed at some point midseason. But, until then, the media will continue to have a sad about their protest puppet, and what might have been.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn