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Colin Kaepernick Isn't a Victim, He's a Drama Queen

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Kaepernick: Victim or Drama Queen?

Colin Kaepernick once again believes the NFL did him wrong. He was given an opportunity to try out, but it fell flat because the league wouldn't meet all of Kaepernick's demands. The free agent pulled out just hours before a planned workout.

Instead of going to meet with team scouts as planned, Kaepernick held his own workout at a high school an hour away. He assumed his favorite role for the press— not the role of a serious athlete, but the role of a victim.

Is he a victim, though? Or is he just a big drama queen?

My vote is for the latter.

Colin Kaepernick Can't Stay Away from Controversy

San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2012.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2012.

The Latest Stunt

After a long and contentious legal battle with the NFL, Colin Kaepernick expressed interest in playing football again. He was slated to take part in a private workout and interview in Atlanta on November 12, where all 32 teams in the league were invited to watch him. This was a rare opportunity for which thousands of young, hopeful athletes would have given their eye teeth.

Kaepernick had no appreciation for the opportunity, however, despite the claims that he wishes to resume his football career. Much to everyone's surprise, the free agent pulled out of the event just a couple of hours before it was due to start.

One issue was a liability waiver that the NFL required Kaepernick to sign as a precondition to the workout. His attorney advised him not to sign the waiver because it would take away the free agent's rights to sue the NFL in the future.

The other issue was that Kaepernick wanted to bring his own camera crew and to allow the media access to the workout, but the NFL refused and insisted on a closed event. He claims he wanted to keep the workout "transparent."

According to Sports Illustrated:

This is neither a typical player nor a typical situation . . . this is not a standard situation and thus a standard form might be ill-suited.

— Michael McCann, "How Colin Kaepernick's Workout Waiver Was Different From the NFL's"

Kaepernick Is a Liability

Kaepernick's camp argued that the waiver in question was broader than the standard waiver, and they were concerned about paragraphs that would prevent the free agent from suing the NFL or any teams for not signing him afterward.

Kaepernick and his attorneys sent back a revised version of the waiver, which the NFL refused. It wasn't unreasonable for him to request the revised liability waiver, and it would have been nice if both sides peacefully came to the table to hammer out an agreement. Considering Kaepernick has filed grievances and threatened lawsuits against the NFL in the past, is there any surprise that the league was concerned?

Had Kaepernick seriously wanted to play ball, he should have shown more restraint. By staging his own workout on his own terms, and by trying to paint himself as a victim, he's showing that he hasn't grown at all. He's not nearly as interested in playing as he is in causing controversy.

What's Your Opinion?

Kaepernick's "Poor Me" Performance

Kaepernick wore a shirt to his workout that read "Kunta Kinte," the name of the slave from author Alex Haley's 1976 novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. It's not the first time supporters of the activist have compared the NFL to slave owners. Obviously, the free agent decided to embrace that idea in choosing his attire for the day.

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Kaepernick likening himself to a slave is outrageous. You're not a slave just because no one is willing to offer you a multi-million dollar contract. You're not a slave just because you don't get to stir up controversy wherever you want. Because you can choose not to cooperate and do your own thing is, in fact, the opposite of slavery.

The fact that Kaepernick has been asked not to make offensive comments or controversial protests while on the job is hardly akin to any oppression. If that's the case, then the vast majority of American workers are oppressed slaves. Few people can stage their own private protests while on the job in front of patrons and expect to keep their job.

This man isn't a slave by a longshot; he's a privileged celebrity with an overblown sense of entitlement.

Save the Drama for Your Mama

Kaepernick was privileged to grow up in a well-off, loving family and had the benefit of a good education. He was lucky enough to have people in his life who supported his talent and his dreams. He was among a select few to win a massive opportunity when he was offered a pro-sports contract.

The athlete went on to stir up a great deal of controversy on the job by offending many people. He spoke disparagingly about the organization for which he worked, even though most of his co-workers and employers supported him in the controversy. When he wasn't willing to compromise or show respect to his employer or the audience by keeping his protests to his own free time, he was astounded that no team on the league wanted to put up with that kind of drama.

Kaepernick took legal action against his former employer and reached a settlement, but was still offered another opportunity. He blew that now because he was expected to hold to a certain degree of professionalism instead of stirring up more publicity and drama.

This man isn't a slave by a longshot; he's a privileged celebrity with an overblown sense of entitlement.

What's Your Opinion?

The NFL Isn't Running, And Kaepernick Is Missing the "Truth"

While cameras rolled at Kaepernick's private workout, he gave an interview to the press in which he blamed the NFL for his lack of a multi-million dollar contract.

"I been ready for three years; I been denied for three years," Kaepernick told reporters. "So we're waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people."

The truth is exactly what escapes Kaepernick. The truth is, he's not entitled to a contract. The truth is, no one can expect to get away with causing drama and controversy on the job, and no one should expect special treatment. The truth is, he was made an offer to try out for the league, and if he didn't like the terms he had every right to turn down the offer. Having the choice to turn it down doesn't make him a victim.

Acting out in front of cameras, comparing himself to a slave and blasting the very league he wants to work for is what makes him a drama queen.

The NFL Isn't Running

Kaepernick accused the NFL of running from "truth" and from "the people." That's not at all what happened last week. Just the fact that the NFL attempted to give the former player another opportunity shows a willingness to compromise. They didn't have to make the offer.

It was Kaepernick who ran when he realized that the NFL wasn't going to let him use his position as a soapbox.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 M S Beltran

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