If you think that Colin Kaepernick has started a controversy by not standing for the national anthem, just wait and see what happens if the Niners cut him.
“I’m sure there are teams that would be reluctant to take him,” NFL Network analyst Steve Wyche said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Let’s say the Niners cut him. You’ve seen how this has really incited some negative stuff. Their fan base doesn’t want him or might respond negatively. Sponsors might respond negatively. Maybe the owners and people in the organization feel strong enough about the national anthem that they don’t want to have anybody coming in saying that I’m going to continue to sit until I see these injustices corrected. Maybe other people will welcome that, even though it could be something that could kind of break up a locker room – because he’s not going to start if he gets cut by the Niners. He’s not going to go to another team and start, so he’s a backup player.”
“With the Niners, they are boxed in,” Wyche continued. “They are completely boxed in. Because if they keep him, you’ve already seen people in their fan base burning jerseys, saying they’re not going to come to games. They’re going to boo him because he’s going to continue to do this. But if they cut him, even if he has completely stunk over the summer and has just stunk in training camp and he didn’t look good in his debut against the Packers – he hadn’t played in nine months – but if he comes out and stinks it up Thursday as well and they cut him and say that it’s for football reasons, let’s see. It’s cynical America. They’re going to say, ‘No, it isn’t. It’s because he spoke out and it’s contrary to the brand.’ So the Niners are in a terrible situation in terms of if they want to cut him, the public relationships are going to tank. If they keep him, the public relationships are going to tank.”
As DA and Wyche discussed, the flag is a source of pride for many Americans, but it means different things to different people. Wyche, who is African-American and Native American, readily admitted that some Native Americans in his family have mixed feelings about the stars and stripes. After all, this was their land first, and it was taken from them.
So, one must whether other players in the league feel just as Kaepernick does.
“I think there’s a lot more than you think,” Wyche said. “In the Niners’ locker room, there are several players who said that they believe in everything that Kap is standing up for, but they do not believe in sitting down or not recognizing the national anthem. Hey, if I’m in your house, I’m not going to disrespect your house. I live in the greatest country (in the world). There are a lot of people – military, civilians, law enforcement, teachers – who died, who spilled blood for me to have the opportunities I have, including the right to vote and to go to integrated schools. There are a lot of players in this league who feel how Kap speaks, but he spoke very honestly about this. They don’t want to lose their jobs, they don’t want to tarnish their brand, they don’t want to create enemies. He said he is willing to go rogue. He is willing to fight this alone by speaking out, and I think a lot of folks now want to see him be more visible in the community and do things for young people and for the people he feels are oppressed or affected or not treated properly.”