It’s August, and Colin Kaepernick remains a free agent.
Chris Simms doesn’t think that will change anytime soon.
“I don’t think Colin Kaepernick will ever play a down again in the NFL,” the former NFL quarterback and current NFL analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I really don’t. He might get in a few more situations like this where teams dance around the topic of bringing Colin Kaepernick in, but the actual pulling of the trigger (and) signing him to a contract – no, I don’t think it’ll happen. No team wants to do that to their fan base. What he did, a lot of people were offended by.”
What Kaepernick did, of course, was protest racial injustice by kneeling for the national anthem.
“His fight and his cause was just; it just wasn’t the proper way to do that,” Simms said. “For the NFL, which is (a) very right-wing, Republican, conservative-run league in the front offices, the owners, you see all the military things that go on before the game, at halftime in the NFL – it’s just such a big partnership. That’s why I just don’t think it will ever happen again.
But that doesn’t make it right.
“Of course he deserves to be on a team,” Simms said. “I don’t think he’s been blackballed from the league. I don’t think all the owners got in a room and said, ‘Let’s not sign him.’ But just like you heard John Mara say, they don’t want to deal with the headaches and everything that comes along with it.”
Some franchises, though, are willing to sign players who abuse women and torture dogs. But a guy who takes a knee is untouchable?
“Isn’t that crazy?” Simms said. “It is truly crazy. I don’t really get it, either. I have no great explanation.”
Still, Kaepernick remains a polarizing figure. The 49ers reportedly rallied around him last season, but there were probably a lot of people in the locker room that had a problem with him; they just didn’t say anything.
“I think there’s more of that in the NFL than people realize,” Simms said. “I think there was more people in that 49ers locker room last year that were totally disgusted by him. I know some coaches were. The backlash I got from my coach friends and people I know all around the NFL early last year, when this whole situation came about – it was jagged. You couldn’t get over how much people truly hate the guy and what he was doing.
“So, is it right?” Simms continued. “I don’t know. I’m not one to judge that. Yeah, certainly killing dogs is a pretty bad thing in my eyes. I love animals, and that’s pretty bad. And now we’re saying a guy that just kneeled for the anthem and did something that was totally legal can’t get back in the NFL. But again, teams, owners, they want to win games, and I think they always feel like distractions – and the fan base with the money added into that – is what are keeping teams away from Colin Kaepernick.”