If Colin Kaepernick ever plays in the NFL again, it likely won’t be for the New York Giants. That’s because Giants co-owner John Mara has allegedly received “emotional mail” from Giants fans saying that they would never come to a game again if any of Mara’s players ever protested the national anthem.
Even if Mara’s claim is true, the reasoning behind his declaration is a mystery.
“Well, one, I’m not clear on why John Mara had to say anything to begin with because I didn’t know that Kaepernick was any kind of fit for the Giants,” NBC Sports Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Secondly, I’d like to know how many protests he got or messages of anger – because again, I never thought that the Giants a) had shown any interest in Kaepernick or b) could adapt his skills to what they like to do. And thirdly – and this is the thing that sticks out the most – he sort of volunteers this notion that ‘Oh, we wouldn’t touch Kaepernick because of the protest.’ I have a feeling he’s talking for a lot of other owners, and that seems to happen more and more with the NFL.”
Kaepernick, 29, sat for the national anthem before a preseason game last August. In September, he elected to kneel for the anthem and did so throughout the season. Kaepernick intends to stand for the anthem this season, but he remains a free agent – despite throwing 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions for the worst team in the NFC.
Many people felt that Kaepernick was being black-balled by the NFL. Mara’s comments didn’t exactly do anything to dispel that notion.
“It’s almost like the owners now think it’s okay to air their laundry because they’re owners and nothing bad can happen to them,” Ratto said. “That was the thing that stuck out the most. He didn’t have to say a word, but he felt like he wanted to, and he indulged a personal whim that I think is one that’s fairly common in other NFL offices. I’m not going so far as to say they have met as a 32-person group and said ‘We will never sign this guy,’ but the fact that Mara would volunteer this on a guy that I don’t think was ever really connected to Kaepernick – even in the wildest rumor – that just seems like madness to me. It’s almost like he’s saying, ‘Well, yeah, a lot of us will never sign him, but what are you going to do about it?’”
The Seahawks seemed interested in signing Kaepernick – and Kaepernick seemed like a perfect fit – but it appears that has fallen through.
“It looks like the Seattle thing may not happen, either,” Ratto said, “in which case this will be one more brick on the wall for why the NFL has to explain how Colin Kaepernick went from a below-average starting quarterback – but by no means the worst – to a guy who is not sign-able when 118 others are. That’s the thing that nobody can get their head around.”