“Colin Kaeperenck-Love to Hate”
This is quite a story to try and rationalize.
Colin Kaeperneck, just two years removed from being a real star in the NFL, does not have a job yet.
It is him, his style, his opinions, his actions, his bad team….Why?
The demise of the 49ers as a franchise usually brings blame to the quarterback spot more than anywhere else.
But it cannot be placed at his front door.
His play tailed off because of injuries, that led to two off season surgeries last winter. His poor play came as a result of a roster that fell apart around him.
Free agent defections, players leaving because they did not like the chaos around the final years of the Jim Harbaugh regime.
Agents steering players away because of bad relationships, and bad front office politics in the franchise run by Jed York.
Injuries and the sudden retirement of key players, many on defense, led by Chris Boreland and Navarro Bowman. Boreland leaving because of concussions, Bowman sidetracked by bad injuries.
Utter chaos with the hiring of Chip Kelly as coach and his strange approach to offense-defense and relationships, all which led to his firing at the end of his lone season.
Kaeperneck then fueld fires with his preseason boycott of the National Anthem, and the resulting fallout, not just on his club, but the followup decision of players, mostly African Americans, to knee during the anthem, or to stand with fists raised.
All in the protest of oppression against blacks, in the workplace, by police, in society.
Kaeperneck invoked rage by his stance of how poor life is for American blacks, while he was making (14.5M) salary last year.
The quarterback stood his ground with his critical comments on American life for his race, the entire year.
And though lots of America chastised him, he did more than sound off.
He donated 500,000 of his salaries towards charities, starting in the Bay Area.
Day care centers, after school programs, targeting the inner city, in both San Francisco and Oakland. Then a donation to money troubled Senior Centers. His decision to help fund a program to battle starvation in Somalia. And his latest contribution to Meals on Wheels, facing a cut in funding.
And Kaeperneck opted out of his NFL contract to become a free agent, walking away from next years (14.5M) contract, exiting San Francisco, for parts unknown.
He is his own man, with his own opinions. But at least, he, as an individual, is trying to make a difference.
A year removed for surgeries, maybe he will be even more healthy this year. His stats last year in San Francisco were not bad.
Teams are not touching him right now. Maybe he doesn’t run the kind of offense they need run. Maybe they think defenses have figured him out. Maybe they do not believe they want to pay him the kind of money he walked away from.
Or just maybe, teams are offended at his slap at the flag and the anthem, a symbol for all who have given their lives so we can have freedom, and guys like him can be paid handsomely for their athletic talent.
There’s still time, and still a draft ahead, though this is a thin year for QB’s on the at draft board.
In an NFL, where teams still sign guys coming off arrests and substance abuse, it is hard to believe teams are staying away from this guy just based on his opinions.
You may condemn him for his stance on the flag and anthem, but you should salute him for what he has tried to do in his communities.
Fans love to hate players. This ill-will may be misdirected. Think he deserves another shot with a quarterback poor franchise. Maybe he plays again, and succeeds.
Maybe they will love to love him for what he can do on the field, in addition to what he is doing in his adopted hometown.
I don’t think he’s toxic. I believe he still has talent. Now he just needs a team.