The new NFL season is just around the corner but, for the second season in a row, one of the main talking points isn’t the football ahead of us but instead orientates around Colin Kaepernick.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick is struggling to find a team after being released in the off-season, with the Seattle Seahawks the only NFL side to date that has brought the 2011 36th draft pick in for a visit.
Kaepernick first caught the headlines last season for electing not to stand for the national anthem, stating that his reasons for doing so were due to his beliefs in the Black Lives Matter movement – which made news across the world and led to widespread support.
However, as well as the support, Kaepernick was also criticised for his actions and even received some death threats. Now, as he struggles to find employment, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin has stated his belief that NFL owners are trying to send a message to the 29-year-old.
Quoted by ESPN, Baldwin has changed his views from previous comments as he initially stated he didn’t think Kaepernick’s social activism was a reason for his unemployment.
“My original position was I thought that the situation last year with him taking a knee didn’t have anything to do with it. After viewing what’s going on, I’ve got to take that back. I definitely think that the league, the owners are trying to send a message of, ‘Stay in between the lines.'”
“It’s frustrating because you want to have guys who are willing to speak out about things that they believe in, whether you agree with it or not. But I think that’s definitely playing a role now more so than I thought it was going to.”
Baldwin also revealed he believes Kaepernick has the capability of doing a job for numerous NFL teams, whether being a starter or back-up options, which again leads to questions as to why he’s failed to find a team.
“If you take a step back and you look at the overall picture, there’s a lot of teams in this league that could use a quarterback of Colin Kaepernick’s ability. And why he doesn’t have a job, it’s very telling to me. He’s a very capable player.”
“There’s a lot of teams out there that need quarterbacks — whether they’re a starting quarterback or a backup-caliber quarterback. The fact that he hasn’t been brought into camp yet is questionable.”