He may have contributed to getting himself run out of the franchise that drafted him, infuriated over 70% of the country, insulted our flag and those who have defended it, and made himself the closest thing to unemployable in the entire National Football League, but, hey, the Eagles Malcolm Jenkins thinks Colin Kaepernick’s protest was “genius.”
Jenkins told ESPN, “Now that you look back at the season and what’s transpired since then, I think Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel or take a seat or to protest the national anthem was genius and worked better than I think he even probably assumed at first. Because here we are a year later and it’s still a topic of conversation, and it sparked a conversation that’s been long-lasting. And since then, guys have really moved into action and have been doing a lot in the community.”
Why did Kaepernick have to disrespect the flag in order to get athletes to start “doing a lot in the community?” Carmelo Anthony was able to do a ton of community outreach with NBA players, while not engaging in any of the hugely controversial and disrespectful protests that Kaepernick did. Why would it have been any different in the NFL?
Kaepernick’s protest, whether he eventually gets signed or not (I believe he will.) has to be viewed as a failure. Personally, as stated above, Kaepernick did tremendous damage to his brand with NFL teams. The number one thing teams care about in a player, especially a quarterback, is how important football is to him.
When Kaepernick’s protest movement clashed with his football life, the protest movement won every time. Kaepernick not only kept kneeling, he kept fielding non-football questions from reporters, he expanded his commentary to the presidential election, and wore t-shirts glorifying communist dictators.
Not that anyone really cares about that in the NFL. Had Kaepernick done all those things while having an MVP-type year, and leading his team on a postseason run then few, if any, teams would have cared. The problem was that Kaepernick did all these things while losing at the time when a quarterback should discuss nothing other than football, his leadership role, and how he’s going to get better.
Instead, Kaepernick just Kaepernick’d all over the place.
Where is the evidence that Kaepernick’s protest worked politically? Since his protest, Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States, and Black Lives Matter has faded from the limelight and the protest movement which engulfed so much of the media attention seems to have, at least momentarily subsided.
If that’s a success for Kaepernick, I hope he keeps having them.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn