When Colin Kaepernick was with the San Francisco 49ers, Dr. Harry Edwards spoke with him daily. The team’s ownership had assigned the sociologist and civil rights activist “the management” of the fallout from Kaepernick’s controversial kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem.
Edwards says he hasn’t spoken with Kaepernick for two or three months.
‘The issue of him having the opportunity to play is on the league’
However, he strongly believes that if Kaepernick wants to continue playing — and until retirement papers are filed, Edwards doesn’t put much stock in speculation that the quarterback plans to walk away from the game — an NFL team should willingly give him the chance to play.
“In point of fact, one of the strongest things that he has going for him is that you cannot make a reasoned, rational argument that there are 64 starters and backups and up to 32 clipboard-holders, emergency quarterbacks, who are better than Colin Kaepernick,” Edwards told Bruce Murray and Kirk Morrison on the SiriusXM Blitz. “The issue of him having the opportunity to play is on the league and if he is not in the league at the beginning of the season, the one conversation will be, ‘Why not?'”
‘We have to deal with this situation’
Edwards says the NFL is filled with hypocriacy, allowing players and even owners whose actions contradict “these long speeches from the commissioner and others about the integrity of the field and protecting the shield.”
“But a man who takes a knee and says to American society, ‘We are better than this, we have to do better — if for no other reason than our National Anthem says land of free and home of the brave — we have to do better, we’re better than this,'” Edwards said. “But he can’t play in the league? I think that the NFL has a problem if, at the beginning of the season, Colin Kaepernick is not on a team somewhere in this league, especially, for all practical purposes, in terms of who you put on the field, is over 80 percent black. We have to deal with this situation.
‘He’s courageous, he’s intelligent’
“I have tremendous respect for him. I admire him greatly. He’s courageous, he’s intelligent, and I also believe he should be playing in the NFL this year.”
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