Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick hasn't been in the league since the end of the 2016 season despite constantly working in an effort to achieve this goal, and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN's First Take has some thoughts on the matter. He even hinted on the radio that President Donald Trump could have played a role in Kaepernick's lack of employment.
During an appearance with Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning, Smith explained how there were many factors in play that could have affected Kaepernick's potential opportunities. This included the belief by owners that the man known for his silent protests would cost them money.
"Okay? This is after each one of them," Smith said. "This is after each one of them got a check for $226 million from the revenue generated from television. $226 million! You know this! Per owner! They got the check and was still complaining about the potential for what Colin Kaepernick could cause them. So it shows you where their mindset is."
"Why am I bringing that up? Remember that whole gambling stuff that was taking place? How the NFL was going to get involved with it because the states were gonna; sports gambling was going to be legalized in certain states? Right? Remember that whole ordeal?"
As Smith continued to explain, having gambling eventually legalized would require approval from Congress and President Donald Trump. Would the president refuse to give his approval if Kaepernick was on an NFL roster? That answer is unknown, but Smith did hint at the possibility.
"Well, what was going on on Capitol Hill is that the owners, the NFL owners were trying to get involved with that, where they were trying to get a percentage of the bets and all of this other stuff that was going on," Smith continued. "So what happens is, we're talking billions. Well, guess what? In order for that to happen, you need Congress to sign off on it and you need the President to sign off on it. What you don't need is the President turning his attention towards you and going against you just because he doesn't like you."
To his point, President Trump was an outspoken critic of the NFL after Kaepernick's kneeling gained national attention. In fact, he even made comments about how the owners should fire any players that kneel during the National Anthem. Smith certainly believes in the possibility that he would look to play an impact on Kaepernick's career.
In fact, the ESPN host even said that Trump is still mad at the owners for allegedly blocking his attempt to purchase the Buffalo Bills. "He's still mad about you, he's looking to get at you," Smith said before explaining that the owners wouldn't be willing to sign Kaepernick while possibly losing millions of dollars in revenue.