Last week, Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman quoted an anonymous NFL GM who said “10 percent” of NFL teams were hesitant about signing free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick because of possible political repercussions. While Freeman wrote that some teams would avoid Kaepernick over “genuine hate,” others might be hesitant because they apparently did not want to be the subject of a Donald Trump tweet:
“Second, some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or [President Donald] Trump will tweet about the team. I’d say that number is around 10 percent. Then there’s another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.”
(The no-name GM’s quote is silly because using basic math, 10 percent of 32 NFL teams would be three or four clubs, but the issue doesn’t sound as dire if an executive says, “Three or four teams fear backlash if they sign Colin Kaepernick.” However, the Jets just picked up Josh McCown, who is abysmal, which could be presented as evidence that teams will skip over the QB who’s average but comes with a “distraction” for a worse player, but the signing could also be used as evidence that there is no God and the Jets are doomed to repeat themselves by phoning it in and pinning their hopes on yet another quarterback from USC.)
At a rally tonight in Kentucky, Trump mentioned Freeman’s report. Whether he read it direct from the source or consumed a rephrased or twisted version of it, who knows. Aggregation is a crazy thing. While Trump didn’t address whether or not he’d be angry enough to denounce Kaepernick’s hypothetical new team, he seemed like a man utterly satisfied with the rumored influence of his tweets.
Trump referred to Kaepernick as “Your San Francisco quarterback, I’m sure nobody ever heard of him.” A partial transcript:
I’m just reporting the news. There was an article today—I love to report the news and then they said I made a mistake, right? I said, no, the people reporting the news made a mistake if it’s wrong. But, there was an article today, it was reported, that NFL owners don’t wanna pick him up because they don’t wanna get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that?
I just saw that. I said, “If I remember that one, I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky.” Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag, right?
Kaepernick hasn’t signed with a team, but he has been busy raising money to supply the citizens of Somalia with food and water.