By Josh Skinner
Colin Kaepernick should retire. He’s a bad quarterback with a bright future that he should embrace. At one point, Colin Kaepernick was a god galloping among mole people, shattering the now ancient concept of a “strong Green Bay defence”, by running for a playoff record of 163 yards. He was faster than everyone else, and stronger than everyone else on the field. It was glorious.
Fast forward half a decade later. Kaepernick is now barreling towards thirty, with no upside in sight. He seems to have adopted Kevin Durant’s approach to the weight room, a gutsy approach to a game that involves three-hundred-pound men galloping towards him.
He also has been locked in a war of attrition against Blaine Gabbert.
For those reading because they are politically inclined and don’t give a damn about sports, Blaine Gabbert requires some attention.
He was drafted high in 2010 and got the shit kicked out of him for three years in Jacksonville. His career average of six yards per throw is impressively bad. He also has a season that is regarded as the fifth worst ever measured by Pro Football Focus (PFF is a grand cabal of nerds who analyse football). Most importantly, Blaine Gabbert had the demeanor of a mouse who woke up in Blaine Gabbert’s body. Meanwhile, somewhere in an underground mouse arena football league, Ricky McManus has revolutionised the game, holding every record imaginable.
The point of all this context is that Colin Kaepernick was fighting for his life against a cowardly mouse man and took more L’s than he gave. At one point, it was possible that Colin’s legacy would be that of Icarus, someone who got too close to the spotlight and melted before our very eyes. That was until he took a knee during the American national anthem, grew out his afro and started to change the world instead of the scoreboard, triggering thousands of people in the process.
He caught flack for it, and I prayed that his grown out hair would like the biblical figure Samson give him strength to go on a revenge tour. Samson is a man of great strength who derived his power from his long hair.I fantasised about Colin Kaepernick rising like a phoenix from the ashes, dumping touchdowns on pathetic sad men with a fist proudly in the air like the seemingly ancient black panthers of old. That never came to fruition.
What did bare fruit was his activism, which brought a spotlight on the blatant devaluation of black lives when police are involved, triggering thousands of Broflakes in the process. He brought food to Somalis in desperate need. He seemed to be on a path to his purpose being one that was predicated on bettering society as opposed to entertaining it.
Yet he still clings on to sports, something that he is unable to do at the level he previously achieved. I picked up an Xbox controller recently and tried to play a first person shooter game, something that at one point I was objectively awesome at. I stopped playing after 15 minutes, recognising that whatever I had at one point, I had lost. Plus, I had other more meaningful things to do with my life.
Kaepernick is in the same position now. Unfortunately, every day he stays in the NFL, he is helping to propagate a lie that the entire NFL is colluding to keep Colin Kaepernick off their roster because of his activism. Activists like Shaun King use Kaepernick’s current employment situation as proof of the NFL’s policy of anti-blackness. When the truth is that Kaepernick at this point in his life is a better activist than football player. In fact, he’s a bad football player that doesn’t belong on any roster.
To begin with, his history as an absolute assassin on the football field necessitates a big salary, which he does not currently deserve to receive. It’s good to remember that the NFL is actually the closest resemblance of any American commodity to communism. Every team has the exact same amount of money to spend, and it happens to be quite little. So to spend upwards of $5 million on a guy who, at best, deserves to ride the bench, is foolish.
Secondly, because of his unique skill set, he requires a certain playbook, a playbook that would take time to teach other teammates. A playbook that may not match up with the current starting quarterback on the team. Colin Kaepernick isn’t good enough that he and an NFL offense can just wing it, if that were the case he would have been able to relegate Blaine Gabbert to the bench.
Colin Kaepernick has gone from someone who changed games, to someone who changed the world. Unfortunately he is now stuck in this limbo where his name is bandied about in order to serve narratives of the pundit class. Stephen A. Smith uses his name as a proxy for shitting on millennials who didn’t vote. Shaun King uses his name to prove a policy of anti-blackness in the NFL. In Free Agency, Colin has been robbed of all agency.
He should take charge of his destiny, stop giving people someone to talk about and get back to giving people something to talk about. Colin Kaepernicks, at best, nebulous blackballing provides Shaun King with retweets which is a valuable currency for Twitter personalities. Unfortunately, increasing the Notoriety of Twitter activists does not in any way make the world a better place. Having the punditariat on ESPN debate whether or not he should have voted does not make the world a better place. Even reinvigorating his career and rising again to the apex of dominance he once achieved changes nothing but the prospects of a fantasy football team. Colin Kaepernick can make the world a better place by placing value on the lives of black people. I hope he sees this opportunity and retires.