When former NFL Colin Kaepernick sat down for an interview with the I Am Athlete podcast, former NFL cornerback Pacman Jones was one of the former players who questioned Kaepernick. Now, Jones is joining former NFL receiver Antonio Brown in questioning whether Kaepernick is doing enough to put his causes into action.
“As far as the community part, I think AB is right,” Jones said, via TMZ.com. “We haven’t heard anything that Kaep did for the community or given back to the community after the settlement [with the NFL]. . . . That part of the question, I do think AB is right.”
If you haven’t seen it, you aren’t looking. It’s not hard to find tangible proof. For example, Kaepernick created the Know Your Rights Camp, “to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.” That group donated $1.75 million to Black and Brown communities in 2020 to assist with COVID relief. More donations are listed on his official website.
Jones disagrees with Brown’s assessment that Kaepernick doesn’t want to play.
“I just think it’s hard for a guy to fairytale for 2.5 hours, three hours every day throwing the ball if you don’t want to play,” Jones said. “I think he wants to play. Do he deserve to play? That’s another question. But, do he want to play? I do think he wants to play.”
It’s unclear why Jones questions whether Kaepernick “deserves” to play. It would be nice to know when Jones seems equivocal on that point.
Jones has a separate concern regarding Kaepernick’s reluctance to play wherever he can play, if the goal is to get back to the NFL.
“I actually asked him that on the show, because that was one of my points,” Jones said. “If you want to play so bad, why wouldn’t you go and get film? He’s adamant about the situation that he’s an NFL quarterback. That was the part that kind of made me go a different way. Because I had a chance to get football taken away from me, and I was to the point where I wanted to play so bad that I would have went and played anywhere.”
That’s not a bad point, but it’s important to remember that, while Jones nearly lost football due to his own misbehavior, Kaepernick had been shunned for five years and counting despite not breaking a single on- or off-field rule. It’s easy to see why he would refuse to play in a different league when he believes his ability to play in the NFL was wrongfully taken away from him.
He continues to be shunned, by the way. No one has brought him in for a workout. Even now, with rookie minicamps happening throughout the league and various veterans invited to participate on a tryout basis, no one has shown any inclination to invite Kaepernick.
And no one will. The ship has sailed.
Even if he goes to another league and generates the best film the NFL has ever seen, owners who have decided to kneel before those who hate Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem will continue to find excuses not to give him a chance. Barring something incredible unexpected and beyond stunning, that is definitely not changing, now or ever.