NFL Polled Americans About Whether Colin Kaepernick Should Be Signed

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback began a silent protest in 2016 and was a free agent the following season, unable to find a team to sign him on.

The National Football League apparently wanted to know how Americans felt about one of their star players kneeling during the national anthem, going so far as to hiring a polling outfit to find the answer.

The NFL hired a Washington, D.C., based consulting firm to poll the American public about whether Colin Kaepernick should have been hired by a team when he was a free agent during the 2017 season, Yahoo Sports reports. 

Four months into Colin Kaepernick’s 2017 free agency, the NFL reached out to The Glover Park Group, a polling company that, according to its website, “live[s] for the big issues.” According to sources familiar with the situation, the NFL, through GPG, asked Americans questions on a wide range of issues, including domestic abuse, gambling, protests, and player safety.

Only Kaepernick, however, was singled out in the poll, which asked respondents their opinion on the player and what they felt about his silent protest to kneel during the national anthem. The results of the poll were not made public.

Kaepernick began kneeling in 2016 to highlight racial injustices in the United States — although many people, including President Donald Trump, misinterpreted his protest as unpatriotic and disrespectful to the military. In fact, Kaepernick consulted with former members of the military to ask how best to go about his protest, and kneeling is what they suggested.

That Kaepernick was singled out in the poll speaks volumes about the attitudes of NFL executives, and will likely come up within the lawsuit the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has filed against the league.

The NFL could have taken several different routes with Kaepernick’s decision to conduct his silent protest, including indulging the American people in a legitimate conversation about the issues the quarterback was trying to highlight. Instead, the league made decisions that seem to suggest they wanted to find ways to keep him from playing.

Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Jake Roth/Reuters

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