NFLPA president Eric Winston: We’re 'ready to help' Colin Kaepernick
Could help be on the horizon for Colin Kaepernick?
During a Q&A session with Dom Cosentino of Deadspin.com, NFLPA president Eric Winston revealed the organization has reached out to the controversial quarterback and made itself available to assist him in any way it can.
"We’ve been in contact with Colin’s representatives, and we’ve let them know that we’re there and ready to help with whatever they’d like — whether it’s just some guidance on P.R. or whatever," Winston said. "I know they’ve chosen to lay low, and I respect that. Every player has to make a decision on how they want the union’s help, and I completely understand that, and that’s fine.
"The union’s always stood ready to help him in any way that we need to. We will continue to monitor that situation, we’ll continue to do anything that we can to make sure that he has another opportunity to play. At the end of the day, that’s really it. We’re not going to force ourselves on a player. He’s calling the shots, he wants what he wants, and I respect that, and that’s what we’ll do."
Winston added that while the veteran is still a free agent for reasons understood by many, it certainly seems like Kaepernick is being blackballed by NFL owners.
“You definitely get that feeling — obviously, that’s very hard to prove and it’s very hard to show," Winston said. "But, at the same time, for Christ’s sakes, you have an owner out there publicly saying, ‘I’m polling fans to decide whether I should have this guy on my team or not.’ It’s obvious that owners are scared of it, are worried about it.
“That’s fine. I guess that’s their business or whatever. But it kind of seems a little ridiculous to me. To act like Colin isn’t one of the top — let’s just call it 64 quarterbacks in the world right now is even more disingenuous. The fact that he’s not on a team right now, I think, kind of speaks to that. It’s kind of pretty silly.”
Kaepernick remains unsigned following the backlash for kneeling during the national anthem before 49ers games last season in protest against police brutality and racial injustice, though he said he would not continue the protest this season with a new team.