Saturday afternoon, Colin Kaepernick will meet with NFL teams in Atlanta, Georgia, for a workout session and an interview. The goal will be to work his way back into the league after an extended absence. However, Stephen A. Smith of First Take believes that there are two possible ways in which Kaepernick could potentially shut down any possible return to the league.
"There are only two things that will prevent Colin Kaepernick from having a job in the NFL," Smith said on Golic and Wingo. "One, if he shows up on Saturday and can't throw the ball on the damn football field, he's throwing the ball in the stands. He would have to be that god-awful not to get a legitimate look at potentially having a job next week..."
Given the play of certain backups and starters around the league in recent weeks, there could be multiple opportunities for Kaepernick. Although his performance during the workout will play a certain role in the decision.
“Only Colin Kaepernick can mess this up, it’s beyond all that other stuff now.”November 13, 2019
Performance on the football field was his first point, which is a legitimate concern for the teams in attendance. Kaepernick and his representatives have maintained that he is prepared and ready for any opportunity despite having been absent from the NFL since the end of the 2016 campaign. Showing up in a big way during the on-field session will only prove this point.
The other concern, according to Smith, is the political aspect of the discussion. As he explained, the co-host of First Take believes that Kaepernick can prevent a potential job by "opening his mouth" and talking "too much" during interviews. Smith can see a scenario in which the former San Francisco 49ers QB could create a hindrance simply by talking about why he was protesting in recent seasons.
Of course, this second point is one that created some backlash on social media. The whole point of Kaepernick's 2016 protests was to bring awareness to racial inequality and police brutality. The football fans that support him don't want this discussion to end solely so he can land with an NFL team. They want Kaepernick back in the league so he can shine a light on societal issues, and they believe that Smith was trying to end this discussion.
"'Starts talking too much (about police brutality and structural racism),'" one user wrote on Twitter. "Finish the sentence, Stephen A."
Whether or not Smith wants Kaepernick to discuss political issues during his interviews, it's likely that they will be mentioned. The various teams will want to know if he plans on kneeling during the National Anthem, as well as about any other potential demonstrations. Although their respective responses to his answers could be a source of criticism or praise.
Photo Credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty