Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman presented a vehement defense of Colin Kaepernick this week, arguing the free-agent quarterback is being blackballed by the NFL for his political and social activism.
Kaepernick remains unsigned after a host of underwhelming options received contracts this summer, much to Sherman’s chagrin.
Although numerous league figures have refuted the notion that Kaepernick’s politics have anything to do with his unemployment, Sherman doesn’t buy it, and put the NFL and its culture on blast in an interview with Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY Sports.
“The funny thing about it, when you’re not being blackballed, you don’t have to say he’s not being blackballed,” Sherman said. “When football’s a safe game, you don’t have to say, ‘Football’s a safe game.’ It seems like the commissioner always has to say things to justify something.
“But you didn’t even do this with Mike Vick. Vick came back and (eventually) got a $100-million deal.”
Sherman believes Kaepernick ultimately isn’t being punished for his football ability or race. Rather, it’s his refusal to bow down to the league establishment that’s left him on the outside looking in ahead of the upcoming season.
“What is it about?” Sherman said. “It’s not about football or color. It’s about, ‘Boy, stay in your place.’
“He played in Chip (Kelly)’s system last year and went 16-4 (touchdown-to-interception ratio) on a bad team. He played well because he’s a good football player. He may not be the best, but he’s better than a lot of these dudes starting.”
Sherman blasted league owners for prioritizing revenue over winning and called out a host of quarterbacks – including Blake Bortles – for keeping their jobs over Kaepernick.
“For you to say you have to check with sponsors and fans because this guy took a knee and made a statement?” Sherman said. “Now if you told me this guy threw eight pick-6s last year and played like a bum, had no talent, that’s one thing. But Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, or whoever is playing for the Jets right now – whoever is starting for the Jets is terrible – have jobs. You’re telling me fans would rather you lose and put a worse player out there because a guy took a stand? That’s where it’s so troublesome to me.”
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