Football

I hear you on the #BoycottNFL movement. But Kaepernick shouldn’t be the face of it.

The #BoycottNFL movement has largely been centered around ex-49er Colin Kaepernick.
The #BoycottNFL movement has largely been centered around ex-49er Colin Kaepernick. AP

Last week, when I wrote about how I think Colin Kaepernick should be on an NFL roster and Tim Tebow shouldn’t, I received plenty of feedback.

Some of it was fair. Some of it was harsh. And some of it was downright hilarious.

While most of the feedback contained angst, I nonetheless sifted through it to see what others had to say. One thing stood out.

Just as I had argued that Kaepernick had the right to kneel during the national anthem in a protest against what he believed to be racially-based police brutality in our country, others – either in emails or via Facebook comments connected to the story – brought up the point that fans have the right to boycott a team that signs him.

Great point. That is absolutely true.

However, when put into context the argument doesn’t make as much sense as it would seem on the surface.

In fact, Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson told Sports Illustrated that he believes the NFL is collectively “colluding” to keep Kaepernick out of the league.

“There are many teams and GMs that don’t want to deal with that,” Watson told SI. “For many of them, whenever you have a team, you’re always aware of how the actions of specific individuals will positively or negatively effect your team. That is a huge factor with him and I think that’s part of the reason why he’s not employed.”

Yet, there’s a laundry list of players in the league who have had run-ins with the law – some of them numerous times.

Last week, I brought up Joe Mixon, who was shown on video decking a woman a few years ago, an incident that was later “settled” via a lawsuit.

That’s just scratching the surface of troubled players currently on NFL rosters.

How about Adrian Peterson? Remember when he hit his 4-year-old son with a switch (tree branch) and was charged with felony child abuse a few years ago? Well, he got out of that with lesser charges and no jail time. And, in fact, he was one of the big-name free agents this offseason before signing with the New Orleans Saints.

Another star running back who was on the market this offseason, Marshawn Lynch, was welcomed with open arms by the Raiders. Well, that’s a guy who has been arrested multiple times, including gun and DUI charges that were later lessened and resolved in court.

What about Dez Bryant? Remember the story of how the Dallas Cowboys star receiver allegedly assaulted his own mother? Well, as in many cases for these high-profile (and rich) NFL players, his charges were dropped.

Then there’s Michael Vick. He served time in prison for running a brutal dogfighting ring. Not long after shedding his orange jumpsuit, he was again wearing an NFL jersey.

And, of course, we can’t forget Ray Rice. The former Ravens running back became the poster man for the NFL’s domestic violence problem after video surfaced of him punching his now-wife in the face and dragging her from an elevator.

Rightfully, Rice was denied a return to the league as no team decided to sign him. However, after he was reinstated from an indefinite suspension, there was talk that some NFL teams might consider giving him a second chance. Ultimately, it didn’t happen. But there was much speculation that his denial had more to do with being an aging, less-productive running back than a wife beater.

Priorities, priorities.

With this all being said, there is no logical reason behind denying Kaepernick a “second chance.” What he did was perfectly legal and within his rights. He didn’t hurt anyone.

But now we’re on this big boycott bandwagon.

The man who’s most closely connected to the popular Twitter hashtag, #BoycottNFL, was the recipient of the Len Eshmont Award, doled out to the 49er who “best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team,” according to an ESPN article. According to the article, “the award, which was established after Eshmont died in 1957, is considered the most prestigious honor the players vote on.”

And, don’t forget: He’s used his platform to give money to charities.

There have been other calls for boycotts in light of NFL players’ off-the-field problems, and recently a Cincinnati TV station called for a boycott after the Bengals drafted Mixon. However, he’s still on the roster (don’t worry, I’m sure Pacman Jones and Vontaze Burfict will take him under their wing).

Many of the others remain on teams or received second chances in the past.

However, Kaepernick still has no NFL roster to call home.

It just isn’t right.

So when you decide to make your argument about how Kaepernick shouldn’t be on an NFL roster, be sure to take a look at who your NFL team currently employs.

Then we can talk boycott.

On tap

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans host the Frederick Keys for a three-game series Monday through Wednesday (all times 7:05 p.m.) before heading on the road for a four-game set at the Down East Wood Ducks. Game times are: Thursday and (7 p.m.), Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.). … The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at 3 p.m. Sunday (FS1). … Game 5 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for 9 p.m. Monday night (ABC). … The PGA Tour heads to Erin, Wisc., for the U.S. Open from Thursday through Sunday.

David Wetzel: 843-626-0295, @MYBSports

Colin Kaepernick career stats

GP

Comp. %

Yards

TD

Int

Rating

69

59.8

12,271

72

30

88.9

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