Colin Kaepernick Isn’t Employed Because His Problems Exceed His Talents

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Many in the liberal sports media have begun to blame NFL teams for the fact that free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed while other mediocre quarterbacks like Geno Smith, Nick Foles, and Matt Cassell have signed as free agent back ups. These sports media figures are arguing that Kaepernick’s protest is the reason he’s not employed and casting that NFL team decision in a shameful light for that reason.

I think the reality is simpler — the reason why Colin Kaepernick isn’t employed is because he wasn’t very good at quarterback last season and his problems exceed his talents. Yes, that protest is a problem. In particular, it’s a business problem in the vast majority of NFL cities. If you’re the owner of a company, as all NFL team owners are, do you want to employ a quarterback who hurts your brand in the community and doesn’t help you win games? Of course not.

That’s especially the case when you consider that of the 32 NFL teams, Donald Trump won the state they’re located in for 19 of them. That is, only the California teams, the Seahawks, the Bears, the Broncos, the Vikings, the New York teams, the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens, and the New England Patriots are in states that the Democrats won. And the Bills are in upstate New York which is actually a very conservative area that Donald Trump won by a wide margin. So if you’re an NFL owner, do you really want to add a mediocre quarterback that divides your fan base politically? Hell, if Colin Kaepernick hadn’t played in San Franciso, the most liberal NFL city in America, he probably would have been cut before the season even started.  

Keep in mind that the people in the seats in most NFL stadiums voted for Donald Trump for president. Football fans are conservative by nature. Trump won every SEC and Big 12 state and won every traditional Big Ten state except for Illinois and Minnesota. The central part of the country, where football is the most popular, is Trump country. So if you’re going to make a political statement that the vast majority of your fan base doesn’t support, you’d better be damn good at your job.  

If Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, Drew Brees or Matt Ryan kneeled to protest police brutality during the national anthem do you think they’d last long as free agents on the open market? Of course not. They’d be immediately signed regardless of their political beliefs because their talent exceeds their problems. All of these guys are top 14 quarterbacks according to advanced statistics. Kaepernick was the 30th best quarterback in the league last year. The only quarterbacks Kaepernick outplayed last year were Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jared Goff, and Brock Osweiler. The Houston Texans just gave up a second round pick to the Cleveland Browns to get rid of Osweiler. None of these guys would make much money on the open market right now either.

That’s because the NFL is the ultimate meritocracy. Bill Belichick would start a transgender Asian female at defensive end if she could get to the quarterback faster than anyone else on his team. If your talent exceeds your problems, teams just don’t care about your problems in the NFL. The only color that matters in the NFL is green, that is, do you make your owner, team, and coaches more money by winning more football games? 

Ray Rice didn’t lose his job as an NFL running back because he punched his fiancee on video. He lost his job as an NFL running back because he punched his fiancee on video and averaged 3.1 yards per carry in his final season in the league. If Tom Brady had knocked out Gisele on video, he’d still be playing in the NFL. Do you know why? Because his talent would still exceed his problems.

Adrian Peterson got charged with child abuse and ultimately plead guilty to a crime relating to that abuse and the Vikings stood behind him. But the minute Adrian Peterson’s talent ran out, guess what, the Vikings kicked him to the curb.

That’s true for every job in the country, by the way. One of my buddies worked at a law firm where the partner who brought in the most money got caught banging his secretary on the conference room table at the office. Do you know what happened to him? Nothing. Because he brought in the most firm revenue. He could bang his secretary on the conference room table. But if you were a young lawyer and you did that? You’re fired on the spot. 

None of this changes the fact that Kaepernick’s protest was always incredibly stupid too. That turned off many intelligent owners and coaches who understood this, but didn’t want to say it publicly. I told you how dumb Kaepernick’s protest was the morning after he began his protest. I pointed out then that by kneeling for the national anthem Kaepernick was protesting the federal government — then helmed by Barack Obama, a mixed race black man, and attorney general Loretta Lynch, a black woman — who were already doing exactly what he wanted them to do. That is, Kaepernick was protesting police shootings of minorities and demanding that the federal government hold police accountable for unjust shootings. But the federal government was already investigating all questionable police shootings and holding police accountable when those shootings were unjustified. So Kaepernick was protesting and demanding the exact same thing that the federal government was already doing. As protests go this is the equivalent of marching into McDonald’s and taking a knee saying you’re protesting breakfast not being served all day. Except McDonald’s serves breakfast all day already. 


The “protest” was incredibly dumb and most people in the liberal sports media didn’t point the stupidity behind this protest for two reasons: 1. They were white and afraid of being called racist if they did so. 2. The sports media was too dumb to understand how dumb the protest was too. 

What’s also fascinating about all these liberal media lining up in Colin Kaepernick’s corner now is they try to make their support about Kaepernick’s first amendment rights, but if Kaepernick had taken a knee in San Francisco because he opposed the Supreme Court decision granting gays the right to marry — a stance, by the way, that would have actually made sense because the government’s action would have been different than the player’s belief — these same free speech defenders in the media would have immediately demanded the 49ers release Kaepernick. That’s because most people in this country don’t actually support free speech, they support free speech they agree with.

As if that weren’t enough Kaepernick has now announced he will stop his protest despite the fact that Donald Trump is now president. Isn’t that convenient? Once Kaepernick doesn’t have a guaranteed contract his political bravery vanishes. I think you can make a strong case that 77,794 people may well have ended up voting for Donald Trump — that’s the total Trump margin in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, roughly one football stadium — partly because of Kaepernick’s protest. Is it crazy to think that 38,872 people might have even changed their mind for president because of Kaepernick’s protest? I don’t think so at all.

When you look at election returns and see how tiny the margin was in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin it’s downright possible that Kaepernick’s protest actually got Donald Trump elected president.  

On top of the stupidity of the protest, the data doesn’t support that police violence is a major issue in this country. Violence is, of course, a major issue, but do you know who protects more black lives than anyone? The police. In fact, protests like Kaepernick’s have led to police not protecting their communities as aggressively as they otherwise were, a result that has led to thousands of more dead black people — the vast majority victims of other black people — than there otherwise would have been. 

Indeed, despite Kaepernick’s protest and the fawning media coverage that surrounded it police shootings of unarmed people was already virtually nonexistent in this country. Last year 48 unarmed people were shot and killed by police. (It’s important to note that unarmed does not mean without danger. A man punching or kicking a police officer is unarmed). Twenty-two of these unarmed people shot and killed by police were white, 17 were black, eight were Hispanic and one person was another race. That same year bees, wasps and hornets killed 58 unarmed people and lightning killed 38 unarmed people.     

Of course you won’t see those stats anywhere else because the liberal sports media is too busy deifying dumb athlete protests. 

The lesson here is simple — if you want to be a political activist on the football field, you better be damn good at the game of football. 

Otherwise you’re going to be unemployed. 

That, by the way, is true for every single employee in this country. So long as your talents exceed your problems you’ll always be employed in this country, but if they don’t — goodbye. 

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions, and started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers.