Earlier this week, Richard Sherman sat down with Jarret Bell of USA Today Sports to discuss the current state of the NFL. During the discussion, Sherman addressed one of the most prevalent stories in sports media, Colin Kaepernick’s unemployment.
Last season, Kaepernick took a stand against police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem. Although, many found an issue with Kaepernick’s protest, others were supportive of the message he was trying to send. Since then, the former quarterback has received widespread coverage as fans question the reason behind his unemployment. While many believe Kaepernick’s failure to find a job is largely in part due to his performance last season, others, including Sherman, believe the baller is being blackballed.
“The funny thing about it, when you’re not being blackballed, you don’t have to say he’s not being blackballed,” Sherman said of Kaepernick’s situation. “When football’s a safe game, you don’t have to say, ‘Football is a safe game.’ It seems like the Commissioner always has to say things to justify something.”
“But you didn’t even do this with Mike Vick. Vick came back and (eventually) got a $100 million deal,” Sherman added.
Although, Sherman addressed Kaepernick’s situation back in March saying, he was skilled enough to start for “probably 20 of the teams in this league,” recent news about Kaepernick reportedly being considered by the Baltimore Ravens and later denied by the team’s owner may have lit the fuse for Sherman.
“What is it about?” Sherman asked. “It’s not about football or color. It’s about, ‘Boy, stay in your place.’
“He played in Chip (ChipKelly)’s system last year and went 16-4 (TD-to-INT ratio) on a bad team. He played well because he’s a good football player. He may not be the best, but he’s better than a lot of these dudes starting.”
Sherman proceeded to call out the New York Giants co-owner John Mara, who revealed that he received feedback from fans condemning Kaepernick, which prompted him to consider alternative options during the offseason.
“For you to say you have to check with sponsors and fans because this guy took a knee and made a statement?” Sherman said. “Now if you told me this guy threw eight pick-sixes last year and played like a bum, had no talent, that’s one thing. But Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett or whoever is playing for the Jets right now – whoever is starting for the Jets is terrible – have jobs. You’re telling me fans would rather you lose and put a worse player out there because a guy took a stand? That’s where it’s so troublesome to me.”
“Blake Bortles has shown you enough to where you don’t think Kaep would be a solid fit?” Sherman asked. “Kaep has won games.”
“We’ve been rivals,” Sherman continued. “But it goes beyond football. On the field, I’m an adversary. Off the field, we’re cool. Cordial. You just don’t ever want anything like this to happen to anybody. It’s unfair. He’s out there sacrificing for more people than himself.”