Kaepernick: Black or White? Try Green!

Dante Vitoria's Dante's Inferno www.dantesinferno.nyc

Like Rod Tidwell said to Jerry Maguire “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”

By Dante Vitoria September 19, 2017

Week 2 in the NFL is in the books and already, star players are out for the year, an assistant coach has been fired, a starting QB has been benched, yet one man remains the FOCUS of the league. And a major award has already been issued. The NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) has given their weekly Community Outreach Award to a player with a very unique distinction. He is NOT on an NFL roster! Colin Kaepernick, received the weekly Community MVP award, for his donation of $100,000.00 (Four $25,000 awards to charitable causes ranging from after school /sports programs, to homeless care). Very noble of Kaepernick. It only adds to the question of why he is not an active player in the league.

At the age of 29, Kaepernick is in his athletic prime. He has never failed a drug test that would cause suspension or ever received a suspension from the NFL for any type of adverse or illegal conduct. What may be even more puzzling is one could argue Kaepernick “could be” better than 11 of the 32 starting QB’s in the NFL presently. And you could IGNITE a rousing debate that the number is much higher. The Miami Dolphins who lost Ryan Tannehill and coerced Jay Cutler out of the broadcast booth, rather than go with journeyman Matt Moore. Hard to think Kaepernick would perform WORSE than that trio. The Indianapolis Colts, with Andrew Luck out, they have put Scott Tolzien in the “saddle” with Jacoby Brissett in the “coral” just in case. Glad I am not a Colts fan, aren’t you? The Buffalo Bills (no they are not in the Canadian Football League…wise guy). They kicked off the 2017 season with Tyrod Taylor and his back up Joe Webb (who has also played WR, DB and returned kick offs in the NFL, I really don’t remember Dan Marino handling those jobs during his career). And they WON their first game, defeating the New York Jets! They were led by Josh McCown (or “McClown”) with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg backing him up.

Look, I could go on and on with my analysis of NFL QB’s but I am not an NFL owner, GM or coach, so my opinion is irrelevant. Here’s what IS RELEVANT (and an area where I am VERY qualified to give an opinion). The economic impact on one Colin Kaepernick, or better yet, the RISK/REWARD of placing him on an NFL roster. The average salary of the 32 starting QB’s in the NFL is $14.65 Million per year. Big number, and NFL contracts are complicated, where only a portion of the contract is guaranteed by the team to the player. The average salary I quoted above is the GUARANTEED portion of the contracts! Is it starting to come into focus?

Here is a fact that may help you focus. Last year the NFL had a Gross Revenue of $14 Billion, showing an increase of $900 Million from the 2015 season. They are also on pace to meet Commissioner Roger Goodell’s “goal” of $25 Billion in revenue in year 2027. Now do you see? Colin Kaepernick’s “politics” are not “healthy” for REVENUE. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, that is another debate. There are many men currently in the NFL who have committed “terrible” offenses (and I will not list or discuss them here, but a quick Google search will keep you very busy), yet Kaepernick remains BOTH the center of controversy and unemployed! This issue has remained a “hot button” for over a year now.

Hall of Fame players Jim Brown, Ray Lewis and Shannon Sharpe have all commented on Kaepernick and if he does or doesn’t deserve an NFL roster spot. Current stars, Aaron Rodgers of the Packers says he does, and LeSean McCoy says he is not good enough…and the battle continues. It has caused ESPN host Jemele Hill to be dragged into the mix as well. She had some rather uncomplimentary remarks about President Trump. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders fired back in defense of our President and low and behold, Kaepernick could not resist, and offered his “support” for Hill. There was a report ESPN was to “fire Hill” which caused Reverend Al Sharpton to threaten, “We’ll boycott ESPN if Jemele Hill gets fired.”

Funny, I did not hear or see ANY BOYCOTT of any significance on Kaepernick’s behalf, did you? There is an expression we used to say in Brooklyn…MONEY TALKS and BULL $HIT WALKS. Maybe Kaepernick should listen to the VOICES SCREAMING THAT very saying. Have your political opinion, make your statements, all very noble on his part, however it appears that he is the only one who cares.

Dante Vitoria is the Founder and CEO of The Vitoria Group in New York City.

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