Another NFL season is about to start on Thursday, the fourth without Colin Kaepernick.
And it’s a damn shame.
The NFL continues to claim there is simply no room at the inn for the erstwhile superstar QB turned political activist.
Yep. Not as a starter, not as a backup, not period.
Somehow, however, that same league has room — and cash — for Josh McCown at 41 years old.
The Philadelphia Eagles recently signed him to their practice squad, making him the oldest practice player in NFL history.
Get this: McCown will live in Texas, telecommute to practice, make $12,000 a week and serve as the Eagles’ emergency QB.
Talk about a slap in the face.
There’s so many things wrong with this picture, starting with the fact that McCown has never been any good — old or young.
In his NFL career, McCown has almost as many interceptions as TDs (98 TDs and 82 INTs). His passer rating is a woeful 79.7. Yet, he’s been on 11 NFL teams.
Worse, McCown retired in 2018 and joined ESPN as an analyst. He returned to the league with the Eagles last year on a one-year deal and now he’s back to steal more loot for not playing.
Yet the NFL can’t find a roster spot for Kaepernick who is not only younger, but 10 times better than McCown ever was.
Can you imagine Kaepernick saying he wanted an NFL job but wouldn’t live in the same city where the team was located?
He would be ostracized, taken to task.
Instead, no one even blinks an eye at McCown’s sweetheart deal. The league continues to make it appear as if Kaepernick wasn’t blackballed for his stance against all the ills and wrongs against Black and brown people in this country.
McCown, on the other hand, will have the sweetest gig in the history of pro football. He’s the No. 4 quarterback. You would basically need Armageddon to happen in order for him to play. Having four quarterbacks on an NFL roster is like having a Black team president — rare as hell.
The McCown deal is a clear case of white privilege.
It would be one thing if Kaepernick was old. He’s only 32. And that’s young when you consider that the Tampa Bay Bucs will start 43-year-old Tom Brady at QB this season.
It would be another thing if he had never made a mark in the NFL, but that’s not true.
Kaepernick set an NFL record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game (181 yards). It was a playoff game, no less.
He also led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in just his second year in the league.
Sure, Kaepernick isn’t on that level anymore. But he’s definitely good enough to hold down a roster spot in this league. That’s the part that’s so disingenuous.
Instead of simply giving him a chance, an opportunity to sink or swim on his talent, this league has called dudes out of retirement and reached out to arena league QBs that aren’t even worthy to wear an NFL uniform.
Basically, for the last three years, it has been A.B.C. — Anybody But Colin.
Sad but totally true.
Despite the fact that Kaepernick was totally right about his stance on police brutality and social injustice, the NFL did absolutely nothing to right the wrong it committed against Kaepernick. That league took his livelihood for caring about his fellow man.
Oh yeah, during the height of the social unrest in the country, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged that they were wrong and Kaepernick was right when he first took a seat in protest during the national anthem that preseason game in 2016.
The league has promised to do its part in helping change the country, make it a better place for all people. It has donated money and embraced the Black Lives Matter movement. Heck, the NFL will even play the Black national anthem before the first game of every team to start the 2020 season.
And while that’s all well and good, it’s simply not enough.
Kaepernick deserves a shot to finish his NFL career properly — to be on a roster, and to be ready when there’s a chance to play again. That’s what McCown got, and he didn’t even earn it.