ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith On Kaepernick: ‘He’s Definitely Being [Blacklisted]’

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Getty images/Robin Marchant

Is free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick being blacklisted? ESPN’s Steven A. Smith thinks so.

“Without question,” Smith said on SiriusXM’s Karen Hunter Show. “He’s definitely being [blacklisted].”

Kaepernick, who went 1-10 as a starter last year with the San Francisco 49ers, is having a hard time finding an NFL job. His surrogates feel it’s related to him kneeling during the national anthem last year, because he didn’t want to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

He also wore socks to practice last summer with police portrayed as pigs, which turned off some NFL fans.

Smith feels the QB-needy New York Jets are the most “egregious example” of the blacklisting.

“Where the most egregious example lies, Karen, is with the New York Jets,” Smith said. “You have a team that has a 38-year-old in Josh McCown who is a journeyman, a second-year player who is a Christian Hackenberg, who’s a puppy in the NFL, and some dude named Bryce Petty, none of whom have really played other than Josh McCown who is a journeyman, like I said. Colin Kaepernick, you can make an argument, he’s better than all three of them combined. But, they haven’t called Colin Kaepernick. They’re not considering him and remember who their owner is, it’s Woody Johnson, who’s an ambassador to the UK for the Trump administration.”

In an overtime loss to the Jets last year, Kaepernick threw for four yards in the second half against one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses. So the Jets’ brass probably didn’t come away from that game very impressed with Kaepernick’s skill set.

Hunter asked Smith if a fan boycott would help send a message that Kaepernick being bypassed in free agency is wrong.

“Can we help [Kaepernick] by withholding our dollars and raising our voices as fans?” Hunter asked.

“Well, anytime you do that that’s gonna help the cause that’s what the owners care about most,” Smith said. “But remember, each NFL owner last year Karen got a check for over $246 million dollars a piece in terms of the profit that they generated because of league revenue, in terms of television deal and they still tried to charge folks for performing at the halftime of the Super Bowl. That’s how greedy these individuals. So if you wanna ask the question if you can do something as a fan base by making sure your voice is heard by withholding your dollars and making your presence known in that way so that is always applicable in any walk of life in society today, absolutely.”

Would a boycott help get Kaepernick signed? Perhaps not, Kaepernick not being signed might actually be good for NFL business, according to a recent J.D. Power survey. They polled 9,200 sports fans and 26 percent said they watched NFL games less last year due to the anthem kneeling.

So in this case, the boycott dynamic cuts both ways.


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