Sportswear giant Adidas has promised to sign Colin Kaepernick to an endorsement deal, but only if an NFL team signs him first, according to reports.
Speaking to the Arizona Republic, Adidas North American President Mark King insisted, “If he signs on a team, we would definitely want to sign him.”
Of course, many suspect that the reason the former San Francisco 49er is no longer an active player and has been left unsigned is because of his protests during the national anthem, protests that Kaepernick has not promised to end.
Kaepernick even recently had a meeting set up with the Seattle Seahawks that was scuttled reportedly because he would not pledge to put an end to his protests. Then, the very next day, the Seahawks announced that they had signed another player instead of Kaepernick.
But, apparently, the anti-American protests do not bother Adidas.
“We love athletes that have a platform to make the world a better place,” King told the Republic. “If they’re an activist in a way that brings attention to something that moves the world forward, even if there’s controversy at that moment, we’re really interested in those athletes because I think it represents the world today.
“We’re not in the business of activism, we’re in the business of sport,” King added. “But allowing our athletes to tell their story, it’s really important to us.”
Still, the announcement that he would sign Kaepernick to a deal, but only if a team signs him first may seem a bit like self-serving, virtue signaling for King and Adidas. The Seattle Seahawks had more anthem protesters than any other team in the league last year, other than San Francisco. If even a politically active team like Seattle wouldn’t sign Kaepernick, then the chances of him getting picked up anywhere else seem extremely small.
Adidas knows this, of course. Which makes their overture to Kaepernick as much if not more of a virtue signaling political ploy, as opposed to a real offer.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.