The NFL and NFLPA track various merchandise sales figures, and one of them is jersey sales. Over at the NFL Shop website, you can view the most recent ranking of top selling jerseys, for May 2017. It is not surprising that Marshawn Lynch’s new Oakland Raiders jersey tops the list, but I wanted to point out something else. Colin Kaepernick ranks No. 17 for the month of May.
Kaepernick has been a free agent since electing to opt out of his contract back in March. He had a visit with the Seattle Seahawks, but they decided to instead sign Austin Davis because, well, because.
NFL owner John Mara said that he received more emotionally-charged mail railing against signing Colin Kaepernick, than for any other issue he has faced. The team signed Josh Brown after he had admitted to them that he beat his wife. The public didn’t know this at the time, but an eventual charge on domestic violence led to all of this being revealed. Par for the course when it comes to the NFL and domestic violence.
There are certainly plenty of fans who would not be happy with their team signing Colin Kaepernick, but there would likely be a large number who would be pleased with it as well. But given the type of people that own NFL teams, it is not surprising which group they seem more concerned about.
One other note. Last September, after Kaepernick began his protest, his jersey sales shot up, to the point that he sold more jerseys in one week than he had in the previous eight months combined. After that report, Kaepernick thanked the public, and then pledged to donate all jersey proceeds back into the communities. There is no word on if he is still doing that, but given what he has done thus far, it is reasonable to assume he is still donating that money.
Whether he is or is not donating that money, it is impressive to see the jersey sales of a free agent shooting into the top 25 among all NFL players.