Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins says teams avoiding Colin Kaepernick are 'cowards'
Despite multiple players and coaches saying Colin Kaepernick is good enough to be an NFL starter, the former 49ers quarterback remains unsigned in the wake of his national anthem protests during the 2016 season.
While many players are given second chances following arrests, Kaepernick remains unsigned as a controversial figure who exercised his constitutionally protected rights as a U.S. citizen. Eagles cornerback Malcolm Jenkins had some pretty strong words Thursday for teams unwilling to sign Kaepernick.
"This is just some other teams being, quite honestly, cowards, to say that they're afraid of backlash to sign someone to make their team better, when fans' input has never been in the equation when it comes to signing people in the past," Jenkins said, via the Delaware News Journal. "It's certain owners' way of making an example out of him to discourage anybody else from doing what he did."
The Seahawks brought Kaepernick in for a visit in May, but signed Austin Davis instead to back up Russell Wilson.
The Ravens reacted to Joe Flacco's back injury last week by signing former indoor football league QB David Olson, but cut him a week later to sign former Liberty quarterback Josh Woodrum.
Baltimore has not yet ruled out signing Kaepernick, but team owner Steve Bisciotti is reportedly resisting the move because of Kaepernick's controversial stand against police brutality. Kaepernick has said he will no longer continue his anthem protest.
"Four months ago, there was a debate as to whether [Kaepernick] is talented enough or whatever," Jenkins said. "I think at this point in time when you look at the quarterbacks who have jobs around the league, and the amount of owners and GMs who have only spoken of what fans would think about his stance. I think it’s safe to throw out that talent argument, and basically focus on the fact that he doesn’t have a job solely because he didn’t stand for the anthem last year, even though he already expressed that he planned on standing this year.
"That message, to me, is loud and clear from owners as to where their priorities stand and how they go about picking and choosing who they want on their teams. It’s definitely unfortunate, but it’s shining a light on just how the NFL operates and what we deem as acceptable. It really has nothing to do with what’s right or wrong, but what affects dollars. That’s business as usual, but I think it’s an unfortunate precedent to set."