Giants Owner John Mara Cites Fan Backlash as a Big Reason Why Kaepernick Remains Unsigned

Colin Kaepernick
AP Photo/Mike Groll

In an interview with Jenny Vrentas of, Giants owner John Mara reminded all that signing Colin Kaepernick would carry a hefty public relations price.

To make his case, Mara recalled the tremendous reaction Giants fans had to the Kaepernick protests last year. “All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara said. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, more so than any other issue I’ve run into.”

None of this should surprise. After all, fans reacted very negatively toward the Kaepernick-led anthem protests last year. Clearly, Kaepernick is a good enough quarterback to at least be on a roster, which leaves his protest as the most likely culprit for why he’s not.

However, the idea that fear of public backlash might be what’s keeping Kaepernick out of the league has not set well with some members of the sports media. In his article on Mara’s comments on Pro Football Talk, Michael David Smith laments what he sees as a moral hypocrisy in how fans have reacted to Kaepernick, versus how they react to issues of domestic violence:

The Giants signed kicker Josh Brown to a new contract after he was arrested for domestic violence, and kept him on the team last year after he was suspended for domestic violence. It’s extraordinary that Mara says he heard from more fans about Kaepernick — a player on another team, who didn’t do anything illegal — than about Brown.

Of course, the Josh Brown incident didn’t generate the fan backlash that Kaepernick and other incidents have, because there was no video of it. Had video of Brown abusing his wife surfaced the way it did in the Ray Rice incident, John Mara would have had no problem hearing from his fans. Had there been the photos of abuse that we saw during the Greg Hardy incident, or the video after the Joe Mixon assault, then fans would have recoiled at the thought of signing Brown the same way they did when the Cowboys signed Hardy, and the Bengals drafted Mixon.

The issue Smith has discovered here is more a function of technology and mass media distribution than some commentary on the moral hypocrisy of fans.

Smith continued, “Mara’s comments say a lot about Kaepernick’s continuing unemployment: For many teams, the decision not to sign Kaepernick may go beyond whether the coach or G.M. think Kaepernick can help on the field. It may go up to the owner, who fears Kaepernick would hurt the franchise off the field.”

Well America, looks like the liberal sports media has found a new target in its blame-game for why Colin Kaepernick remains jobless…you.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn


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