Last year around this time, the sports news world was blowing up when Colin Kaepernick answered as to why he was spotted kneeling during a preseason game. Kaepernick alluded to it as a protest for civil injustices towards African Americans and to bring light to police treatment of minorities in the country. Fast forward a year and that same Kaepernick is no longer employed by a NFL team. Kaepernick has met with several teams during the offseason but remains unsigned after opting out of his contract with the 49ers. IT was even reported that he would stand for the nations anthem this coming season as per Adam Schefter of ESPN.
— NewsOne (@newsone) March 4, 2017
So what is it keeping any teams from signing Kaepernick ? Some say he’s being punished or blackballed by the NFL. Though there may be another answer. Distraction. Plain and simple, distraction is that answer. Not only as to why teams may be wary of signing a quarterback who has also made himself a well known activist, but as to why people watch the NFL to begin with. People see sports as a distraction from the daily turmoil’s of life, they find it as an escape. Sports are a form of entertainment that doesn’t mix well with politics. This has been attributed to the drop in NFL ratings during last season, as people stated that’s why they stopped tuning in according to survey’s conducted nationwide. A article related to these surveys/studies has been linked below. However many outlets that broadcast these games put the protests front and center for viewers to see. Last year the national anthem televised more as opposed to previous years when Networks would cut to commercials or pick up coverage when the game began.
There are people on both sides of this debate, some support the players that protested last year and their causes, and others disagree strongly. However when we look at these debates, who gets left out is the people in the middle. The fans that don’t agree or disagree with side of the debate, the sports fan that just wants to watch sports for sports sake. This is where that distraction factors In once again. Authentic sports fans just want to watch their team play football and be good at it. Teams have the same goal in mind in regards to being good at it. However teams most likely feel that spending more time answering questions about how their players feel about certain social issues or addressing these issues instead of focusing on the game may not be in their best interest. This may sound selfish from moral and ethical standpoints, but the NFL is a business and they have a product to sell. This product is good football, and as per last years rating slide people aren’t buying.