“They are good enough players to be out there and having a job.”
Fresh off the 2018 draft, NFL teams are finalizing their training camp rosters and getting ready for the first preseason football games in August. Notably absent from any NFL rosters? Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid.
Kaepernick last played in 2016 and was recently invited to work out with the Seattle Seahawks, but talks broke down after Kaepernick refused to say he’d stop kneeling during the national anthem. Last October, Kaepernick filed a lawsuit against the NFL, alleging that owners colluded to keep him out of the league over his kneeling protests.
Last week, Reid also filed a collusion suit against the league. He was the first player to begin kneeling alongside Kaepernick and alleges owners have colluded to keep him off the field. Reid was solid with the 49ers last year with 53 tackles, four deflected passes, and two interceptions.
But a day later, legendary New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath spoke up for both Kaepernick and Reid on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.”
He questioned why they hadn’t been signed. “I think in Eric’s case — and even Kaepernick’s case — they are good enough players to be out there and having a job,” Namath said. “Why aren’t they? I don’t know. I don't believe in the collusion though, I think the NFL is smarter than that.”
This isn’t the first time Namath has stuck up for Kaepernick. In October 2017, former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka claimed there had been no oppression in America over the past 100 years. In an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Namath countered the ignorant comment.
“Look up the meaning of oppression. Look up the definition of oppression, and you understand that it’s obviously taken place,” Namath said. “Going back to what Colin Kaepernick initially did, it was to point out some injustice that’s being done to the black race. Or to people that obviously when you look — and I say obviously, some of these dash cams and shootings that were done to unarmed people and all. He was reaching out to try to get it more investigated. So that’s where this oppression thing comes in.”
When asked if he’d kneel for the anthem, Namath gave a supportive response. “I’m not there, but I’ve never walked in a black man’s shoes either.” Maybe if the league’s owners slipped on a pair of their players' cleats for a moment, they’d understand why Kaepernick and Reid deserve to be on the field.