When Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said his team needed to poll fans and asked us to pray for him last month while he contemplated signing Colin Kaepernick, he sounded like a spineless moron. But at least he put his name behind his comments. At least he laid out what most thinking people believe to be fact: Kaepernick is not currently on an NFL team because he protested last year.
Far more cowardly are the ‘anonymous’ NFL personnel that were willing to give their opinions but not their names to The MMQB’s Albert Breer when asked about Kaepernick’s unemployment. The stated impetus for the piece was to explore what people inside the building think of Kap, with the conclusion being that we’re all wrong. Kap isn’t good enough or system enough.
Let’s summarize the four sources:
Executive #1: Teams would rather have a crappy backup than a “wow” backup. Compares to RGIII who has had so many injuries his ligaments are weaker than a 95-year old. (But hey, all black QBs with scrambling ability are alike!)
Executive #2: Needs specific scheme. Also makes weird, irrelevant RGIII comparison.
Executive #3: He sucks. He’s always sucked. (RGIII namedrop AGAIN)
Coach: He’d be ok in Carolina or Seattle because of their systems but nowhere else. Remarkably, here comes RGIII’s name yet again!
In light of Bisciotti’s public confessional, Pete Carroll’s weird rationale that he passed on Kap because he should be a starter and the general rippling emotions of this saga, anonymous sources are simply irrelevant now. For better or worse or even more worse, almost everyone is putting their names to their Kaepernick opinions.
Heck, even typically private Aaron Rodgers shared his thoughts on Kaepernick when asked by ESPN’s Mina Kimes: “I think he should be on a roster right now,” he said. “I think because of his protests, he’s not.”
“Anonymous sources” are a lifeline for an NFL reporter. Sources use reporters to funnel information that may help in negotiations or narratives. In exchange, reporters develop the relationships and get to break news from time-to-time.
But Kaepernick is not a normal transaction. He’s not even in the same stratosphere as a transaction wire. Player protesting has only swelled and expanded to the people. Over 1,000 angry fans attended a boisterous rally in front of league headquarters last week to support Kaepernick and encourage boycotting the NFL until he’s employed. Fans, not to mention players, are disgusted, and the league is facing an emotional crisis.
So if Rodgers and Bisciotti and so many others who have in vastly different ways fed the notion of a blackballing can freely talk about Kaepernick, so too can some random team executive.
And seriously, if you can’t publicly say something as benign as he’s not a good enough system quarterback, well… what Mrs. Kaepernick says:
How strongly do you believe in what you are saying if you won’t put your name to it? So tired of “anonymous” statements. Own it or shut up
— Teresa Kaepernick (@B4IleaveU) August 31, 2017