In case you are wondering whether or not some NFL general managers are taking a calm, measured approach to the Colin Kaepernick National Anthem controversy, I can assure you they are not. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback exercised his right to free speech, and some GMs appear to be losing their minds.
Mike Freeman spoke with seven team executives around the NFL, and the responses are intense.
"I don't want him anywhere near my team," one front office executive said. "He's a traitor."
"He has no respect for our country," one team executive said. "F--k that guy."
Another said that if an owner asked him to sign Kaepernick, he would consider resigning, rather than do it.
Freeman said that those seven executives suggested 90-to-95 percent of NFL front offices felt the same way they did. I don’t know if that is more just people thinking people think the same way as them, but it would not surprise me if they are running on a similar train of thought.
The most astounding comment was this one:
One executive said he hasn't seen this much collective dislike among front office members regarding a player since Rae Carruth.
In case you forgot, Carruth is in prison after arranging a plot to kill his pregnant girlfriend. The baby was delivered and survived with serious brain damage, while the woman passed away.
This is a league that has signed domestic abusers, accused murderers, players who killed another person while driving drunk and dudes who park in handicap spaces. But Kaepernick is the most hated person he's ever seen? A non-violent protest? Really?
The list is lengthy when it comes to the kinds of things NFL teams are willing to overlook. I do wonder if the executives would be saying the same thing if Kaepernick was playing like he did in 2012 or 2013. My guess is they would be less inclined because most NFL general managers seem to care about nothing but winning. It is their job to win, so the fact that they are moral hypocrites does not matter in their minds, and in the minds of many fans. They will offer their outrage when it requires little to no sacrifice on their part, but the moment they think a player can help them win, well hey, he’s their guy!
Freeman’s column talks about Kaepernick’s future amidst the hubbub. He said the seven executives he spoke with (no teams specified) believe the 49ers, “will wait a bit, maybe a week, for the controversy to quiet (a bit—it's only going to quiet so much in a week) and then release him.” Freeman says people close to Kaepernick said the quarterback fully expected to be released by the team once his actions became public knowledge. They said he knew his career would be in jeopardy, and if he is released, he would dedicate his life to social activism.
Well, with roster cuts approaching, and the season a little under two weeks away, we’ll continue to wait and see how this all plays out.