Training camps are underway around the NFL, and it’s everybody’s first true football fix since the Super Bowl in February. While it feels like a monumental milestone, Bill Belichick wants to remind you that what you’re seeing now doesn’t mean as much as you might think it does.
On Friday, Belichick — who is usually short-winded with his answers (except when it involves actual football) — delivered a long speech on why the early parts of camp don’t really matter.
Kaepernick has said that he won’t continue his national anthem protest this year. And he’s working with a trainer to make sure he’s in game shape. He has more experience and has achieved more in this league than quarterbacks like Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer, and Nick Foles, who are all on rosters right now.
The fear of fan backlash is a flimsy excuse. Kaepernick’s officially licensed merchandise sales demonstrate that he has plenty of fan support.
The most common working theory for Kaepernick’s continued unemployment is that he’s being blackballed by owners who fear a negative fan response to his national anthem protests. Giants owner John Mara, who was slow to cut kicker Josh Brown despite a known history of domestic violence, claimed there was an outpouring of fan anger about last year’s national anthem protests like he had never seen.
“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara said, via the MMQB. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot.”