The credentials of NFL Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown are unquestionable when it comes to both professional football and activism on behalf of African-Americans in the U.S.
When Brown was asked for his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick's protests and his struggle finding work as a quarterback in the NFL, his response was truly remarkable.
“Colin has to make up his mind whether he's truly an activist or whether he's a football player,” Brown said outside the pro-Kaepernick rally in New York City on Thursday.
“Football is commercial,” he continued. “You have owners, you have fans, and you want to honor that if you're making that kind of money.”
“I'm going to give you the real deal,” he said. “I'm an American. I don't desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I'm not gonna do anything against the flag and the national anthem. I'm going to work within those situations. But this is my country, and I'll work out the problems, but I'll do it in an intelligent manner.”
“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade gave his own perspective when asked by his co-host Steve Doocy what he thought about the reason Kaepernick was not playing in the NFL so far this year:
“Because he's not good enough to warrant the distraction he's going to cause to his team. And among the people who said that is the Buffalo Bills running back, he came out and said 'Listen, Michael Vick was a distraction, but he was so good teams signed him, that's the difference.' Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks is also sitting down during the national anthem. To show you the NFL guys and men and women only care about winning, if Michael Bennett was cut by the Seahawks for sitting out the national anthem, there's about 25 teams that would sign him.”
The Buffalo Bills running back Kilmeade was referring to, LeSean McCoy, remarked recently on the Kaepernick situation:
"It's a lot more than just he's not on the team because he doesn't want to stand for the national anthem. I think it's more than that. That may have something to do with it, but I think also it has a lot to do with his play. I'm sure a lot of teams wouldn't want him as their starting quarterback. You know? That chaos that comes along with it, I mean it's a lot. [...]
I think his situation is not good enough to have him on the team with all the attention that comes along with it. I'm sure if a guy like [Tom] Brady or a guy like whoever is your favorite player — Odell Beckham or a guy like that — you'll deal with that attention and play him."
It looks like a consensus is developing: Colin Kaepernick is hurting himself a lot more than helping his cause of playing in the NFL with his national anthem protest.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.