From a reader

Donald Trump is trying to keep Colin Kaepernick from being signed by an NFL team

Updated March 25, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Colin Kaepernick

This week Donald Trump, at a rally he held in Kentucky, spoke out on why NFL teams are not signing Colin Kaepernick, who last year refused to stand for the national anthem in protest against police murders and police brutality. (See “Statement from Carl Dix: Colin Kaepernick Put It on the Line Against the National Anthem! What Will You Do?”)

Trump said that the reason Kaepernick is being shunned by teams is because “NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump, do you believe that?” Then he said, “I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky, because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag, right?”

Kaepernick, who has called Trump “openly racist,” did not vote in the 2016 presidential election. He has said that if he plays this year he will stand for the national anthem because he no longer wants his method of protest to detract from the positive change that has been created from last year’s protest and that, according to the Washington Post, “He also believes the amount of national discussion on social inequality—as well as support from other athletes nationwide, including NFL and NBA players—affirmed the message he was trying to deliver.”

Kaepernick is a free agent this season, which means his contract ended with the San Francisco 49ers, the team he led to the Super Bowl, allowing him to sign with any team in the NFL that wants him to play for them. Right now there are no callers and Trump entering into this is sending a message to team owners that they better not sign him... or else.

The owners, as group, are very wealthy and are politically right wing, and some are open supporters and close friends of Trump: Robert Kraft who owns the New England Patriots and was given a ride on Air Force One by Trump; Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, has been appointed by Trump as the U.S. Ambassador to Britain. And, Denver Bronco’s senior executive, John Elway, wrote on official Broncos letterhead to the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Listen to this Talk by Bob Avakian:

The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters

Track 1, Track 2

The teams’ failure to sign Kaepernick for this season is obviously politically motivated. However, most sportscasters are saying it’s because Kaepernick is not a good quarterback. That is utterly bullshit. Kaepernick’s passer rating ranked him 23rd among all the starting quarterbacks on the 32 NFL teams. Further, he gained more yards running than any other quarterback in the NFL last year, except for Tyrod Taylor of the New Jets, who played in three more games than Kaepernick—all of this, despite playing on one of the worst teams in the NFL.

His former 49er coach, Jim Harbaugh, said this week on NBC sports radio’s “Pro Football Talk” show, “I think he’s an outstanding player and I think he’s a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player. He’ll have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships.”

Richard Sherman, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks and who played defense against Kaepernick in two games this past season was asked if he thought Kaepernick was being blackballed. Sherman said, “I’m sure he is.... It has nothing to do with football.... He would be a starter on probably 20 of the teams in this league. But you’re telling me that ... you’re going to pick up some of these other guys and tell me that they’re starters? ... It’s difficult to see because he’s played at such a high level, and you see ... quarterbacks who have never played at a high level being signed by teams. So it’s difficult to understand. ... You don’t have 32 starting-level quarterbacks in this league. You have about eight elites, and then you have the rest of the league. ... So he could play and start on a ton of teams in this league.”

In an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, Kevin Blackstone, a professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, wrote, “[T]he NFL became the sport of middle- and working-class white America, whose distaste for Kaepernick’s pro-#BlackLivesMatter, apparent anti-police stance, was summed up Monday night in Louisville by the new president who carried most of that NFL demographic.... It doesn’t matter that there are laws, rooted in freedom of speech, in some places in this country that protect employees from punishment by their employers due to their political views or activities. Washington, D.C., is one such place. California, where Kaepernick played since entering the league as a rookie in 2011, is another. What Kaepernick dared to do was spit in the NFL’s eye. Unless and until Kaepernick is back in the league under a contract commensurate with his résumé, blackballing is football’s payback.”

Since the season ended, Kaepernick has continued to work for social causes. He joined a GoFundMe campaign that has raised more than $2 million for food and water for the people of Somalia and he worked out a deal with Turkish Airlines which has granted the use of a 60-ton cargo plane to fly the food and water to that famine ravaged country.

Bob Avakian: Observations on Art and Culture, Science and PhilosophyBob Avakian: Observations on Art and Culture, Science and Philosophy

"If you don’t have a poetic spirit – or at least a poetic side –it is very dangerous for you to lead a Marxist movement or be the leader of a socialist state." – Bob Avakian

This provocative collection of reflections and observations by Bob Avakian on art, culture, science and philosophy offers a rare treat. Excerpted from formal talks as well as more informal discussions and conversations, many of the texts in this collection allow the reader to experience firsthand the freewheeling Bob Avakian—in the process of developing his thinking and reenvisioning the communist project on a wide range of controversies, from the dictatorship of the proletariat to discussions of truth, beauty, science and imagination.

Order online at

After Trump made his Kentucky statement, Kaepernick, in an in-your-face response to Trump, personally donated $50K to Meals on Wheels, one of the social programs to be defunded with the Trump budget. This prompted Sarah Palin to post on her blog, “SERIOUSLY? Colin Kaepernick Just Pulled ANOTHER Political Stunt...”

On Tuesday, ESPN’s show Outside the Lines did a major segment on Kaepernick vs. Trump and the role that the NFL is playing in national politics. On that show, Jane McManus, a reporter and commentator on espnW, laid out “how there has always been connections between the NFL and people in power.” Steve Almond, who has written on the social impact of the NFL, said that “football is kind of a metaphor on how people see the world.” The way I see it, Donald Trump sees football as his worldview which is a zero-sum game. There are winners and there a losers and he stands up in front of that crowd saying my tweets will keep him out of work. The larger point is that it is a football nation. It is, not just the most popular sporting event, but a cultural activity. It reflects how we think about the world, divided into winners and losers and we’ll do anything to be a winner. That’s the question to me on how this really relates to Donald Trump. Does he want to win so badly that he will do anything to win?

If you follow sports at all, you will know that this is a big topic of conversation. And if you don’t follow sports, we will let you know if something more happens.


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.