Interesting take by Mike Freeman over at Bleacher Report. He states a veteran player opined that owners’ aversion to Kaepernick is due to his influence and ability to rally players, which may in turn reduce the relative ownership power in negotiations. In other words, making the NFL more like the NBA where players have an enormous amount of influence. Yet ironically where none of them except David West demonstrate during the national anthem. The notion that owners are not signing Kaepernick because they fear his influence on players seems to be a relatively benign issue. Kaepernick was quite silent even when in the NFL, and intended for his protest to be an individual one. Further, after his clear blackball, very few players protested in support of him prior to POTUS’s 22 September 2017 comments; and relatively few protested after that week 3 wave. In other words, I do not think “influence” is their real fear of Kaepernick.
I think they resent his bold stance against racism and exposure of American hypocrisy, the same as the thousands of white people who have engaged in histrionics surrounding refusal to stand for the national anthem or pledge of allegiance. Recall that in early September 2016, well before the saga of the blackball played out, a report came out that over 90% of league executives despised him for his protest, including some calling him a traitor. So this is not just about him being an influence; it’s about a Black man unapologetically standing up for what’s right and the white resentment that has historically accompanied such an act. A recent example is the Tennessee legislature withholding funds to the city of Memphis as punishment for their removal of confederate statutes. There is nothing that stir white anger and resentment quite like Black substantive challenges to racism or any gains against racism. These owners are no exception, to include those who attempt to blame their fans for the decision. As if the racist concerns of those who just want the nigras to shut up and play ball should be given any serious consideration.
This is about continued power, dominance, and control over a people who have been subjected to the most degrading and inhumane treatment by white America for 400 years and counting. Kaepernick and Reid are being made examples of. It’s as simple, and historically consistent, as that.