If Colin Kaepernick ever wants to play in the XFL, he’s going to have to lower his contract demands.
That message was delivered by XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck in a recent interview, where he made it clear that the league cannot pay the NFL’s original anthem protester what he wants.
“I think his salary demands are way out of our ballpark,” Luck told the Tampa Bay Times when asked about the possibility of Kaepernick joining the league. “He was never really a viable option.”
Notably, Luck does not list Kaepernick’s protest history as a reason why he would be declined by the league.
In January of 2018, XFL Owner/CEO Vince McMahon spoke out against the practice of mixing politics with sports.
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon told ESPN. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”
McMahon followed that up by saying he felt it would be “appropriate” for the league to make a rule requiring players to stand for the anthem.
“It’s a time-honored tradition to stand and appreciate the national anthem with any sport. Here in America — for that matter, in any country…so I think it’d be appropriate to do that.”
Perhaps Luck was alluding to Kaepernick’s political activism when he said that the former 49er was never a “viable option” for the XFL. In any event, it doesn’t sound like Kaepernick will be playing professional football ever again.
The NFL arranged a workout for Kaepernick at the Falcons practice facility last month. The event was to be attended by roughly 25 teams with a promise from the league that the Falcons video crew would film the event and distribute it to all 32 teams.
However, due to disputes between Kaepernick’s camp and the NFL regarding scheduling and liability waivers, the former 49er pulled out of the deal and elected to hold the workout at a local Atlanta high school instead.
Only seven teams attended the high school workout. Kaepernick has not been contacted by any NFL team since the workout, however, one of the wide receivers who attended the workout, Jordan Veasy, recently signed a deal with the Washington Redskins.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn