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Colin Kaepernick deserves a second chance in the NFL

Credit: Lillian Li / The Foothill Dragon Press

Over the past few weeks, the kneeling of National Football League (NFL) players during the national anthem has become somewhat of an epidemic. In response to President Donald Trump’s series of tweets concerning the importance of national pride, NFL teams conducted mass demonstrations; a combination of protesting and displaying unity. On the other side, a fair amount of Americans called for the radical movement of completely boycotting the NFL due to the lack of respect being paid to our country.

However, everyone seems to have completely forgotten what occurred about one year ago. Colin Kaepernick, ex-quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee for the national anthem various times during the 2016 season, alongside his teammate Eric Reid.

At the time of Kaepernick’s protests, some individuals boycotted the NFL, while others defended his willingness to make a stand. Eventually, Kaepernick lost the starting job to Blaine Gabbert, and his tenure with the 49ers came to a crashing halt.

Kaepernick, in all truthfulness, deserves a second chance in the NFL in light of the 2017 protests.

In the recent protests, the retribution casted upon the participating players was much less costly than Kaepernick’s fate: if anything, the 2017 display of unity resulted in players willing to work together to reach a common goal. During Week 3 of this year’s campaign, every team showed some form of protest ignited by unity; whether it be taking a knee, locking arms, or remaining in the locker room for the playing of the national anthem.

Kaepernick’s track record suggests that he has the potential to be a starting quarterback in today’s NFL. He was a player who had taken the 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl and nearly won the game if it had not been for Joe Flacco and the eventual champion Baltimore Ravens.

With the NFL’s recent demonstrations, Kaepernick’s window of opportunity to secure a roster spot should be wide open.

His past protests are clearly the only thing holding him out of the league at this point.

This summer during the NFL offseason, it was a popular belief that Kaepernick was denied a job because of the reputation that he carried with him and his past demonstrations. The Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins, for example, were seriously considering signing Kaepernick due to unforeseen circumstances with their starting quarterbacks. Instead, the Ravens opted to stay with Joe Flacco and Ryan Mallett, and Miami chose Jay Cutler, an aging quarterback that was on the verge of retirement.

So now that these demonstrations have occurred (and are still occurring), it is Kaepernick’s time to step in and make a contribution on an NFL team. There is no question in my mind whatsoever that based on talent level alone, no NFL general manager would pass up on an explosive and dynamic quarterback like Kaepernick.

Last year, Kaepernick was a man on a mission, trying to raise awareness for a cause that he was truly passionate about. Only, he was virtually alone in his efforts. Now that he has an entire league that would be willing to back him up, it’s time to give him a well-deserved second chance in the NFL.

What do you think?
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Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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  • S

    Samuel CraigJun 19, 2020 at 7:16 am

    Kaepernick does not need a second chance. Second chances are for people to do things differently, and Kaepernick does not need to do anything differently. . The second chance is needed for those who judged him in the first place, Trump was being condescending by his words, Trump needs the second chance.

  • A

    Andrew ShoupOct 18, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    This is such a weak opinion in the first place, but as I read the article it came to my attention that the reasoning behind it was poorly thought out.

    If I understand correctly, you are saying that because Kaepernick now has followers, he deserves a second chance in the NFL. This in my opinion is to assume that followers define the validity of a movement, and that moral guidelines are dictated by popular opinion. This leaves absolutely no room for pioneers of movements and in fact criticizes them simply for others agreeing with them. This takes a complacent approach to opinion. Personally I believe that one must determine their own rule of thought for themselves, not let it be defined by others.

    • A

      AnonOct 22, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      The thing is, that’s not what they’re saying at all? It’s not that Kapernick deserves a second chance because he has a following, but because the reason that he lost his opportunity to continue was unfounded. Kapernick wasn’t hired because there was “too much controversy” surrounding him, despite the fact that a year later players are commended for kneeling on some teams, and even some owners/managers have kneeled as well. Kapernick was more than qualified, but was rejected for taking such a political stance. The point here being that now that it’s more acceptable and less risky than it was last year to take a knee, Kapernick should be given the chance to rejoin the NFL for doing the same thing as many current members are doing now because of him. It’s not about following at all, and I don’t even understand how you got that from the article; I don’t think you understand correctly.

  • F

    Fly Eagles FlyOct 11, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Kaepernick wasn’t signed not because of his protests, but because of all the attention and controversy that surrounds him. Many teams don’t want to deal with that distraction for a whole season just to make a political point. Also, Jay Cutler is still an excellent quarterback and brings many years of experience with him to a Dolphins team which is already dealing with non-football issues. He may have the second worst total QBR this season, but the Dolphins have the 6th hardest schedule this season including the Patriots twice and a stacked AFC West. The Ravens have Joe Flacco who is still an elite quarterback despite having a terrible QBR this season so far, but his team is still tied for first in the AFC North with the Steelers. Another important thing to consider is Kaepernick’s style. Some teams don’t run a type of “west coast” offense that Kaepernick would be a good fit in. Also, there are still many great free agent quarterbacks on the market, including Christian Ponder, Robert Griffin III, Johnny Manziel, and Brock Osweiler was available this offseason until getting picked up by the Broncos to sit the bench. The only way Kaepernick will play this season is if the starter, backup, and third-string quarterbacks are all injured for a team, or if the Browns realize that their quarterback situation is disastrous but none of the FA QB’s listed above want to sign with them because the Browns are the laughing stock of the NFL already.