The NFL reportedly conspired to keep Colin Kaepernick out of the league, according to a former executive.
Joe Lockhart, who served as NFL vice president of communications from 2016-18, revealed the rationale behind the decision during a recent column published on CNN.
Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem before each game as a silent protest against police brutality and racial injustice. His protest went unnoticed until a reporter asked him about his decision to kneel and he revealed the motive.
Kaepernick soon became a voice for those facing disparities and a nuisance for NFL owners who believed that the silent protest would divide fan bases. Although he was Super Bowl-caliber quarterback, Kaepernick last played in the NFL in 2016.
Lockhart revealed that NFL owners viewed Kaepernick as a player who would take away from the bottom line.
“No teams wanted to sign a player—even one as talented as Kaepernick—whom they saw as controversial, and, therefore, bad for business,” Lockhart wrote.
Lockhart also revealed that NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, and several executives attempted to convince teams to sign Kaepernick in 2017. But owners went against the notion as one unidentified owner claimed that signing Kaepernick would lead to a projected loss of 20 percent of season ticket holders.
But with the recent uprising around the world following the death of George Floyd, many believe that the NFL has been on the wrong side of history when it comes to Kaepernick.
On May 28, Kaepernick used social media to express his thoughts on the untimely death of George Floyd and police brutality.
“When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction,” Kaepernick posted on his Instagram page. “The cries of peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back. Rest in power George Floyd.”