Many NFL executives and front office members “truly hate” San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand for the national anthem, according to Bleacher Report.
Bleacher Report’s lead NFL writer Mike Freeman wrote that NFL execs who despise Kaepernick’s actions outnumber the front office members who support the polarizing decision to protest the national anthem.
“I don’t want him anywhere near my team,” one front office executive told Bleacher Report. “He’s a traitor.”
Kaepernick did not stand up for the anthem last week and explained to reporters that he was sending a message that is bigger than football, because he won’t “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people.”
Freeman interviewed seven unidentified team executives and none of them want Kaepernick anywhere near their team. Freeman estimates that “90 to 95 percent of NFL front offices” don’t want anything to do with the quarterback.
Freeman wrote, “Each executive said he believes Kaepernick will likely get released by the 49ers — and never play in the NFL again.”
Freeman also wrote that he heard Kaepernick would “dedicate his life to one of social activism” if his stance results in the end of his NFL career. He feels Kaepernick could be treated like Chris Kluwe, a former Vikings kicker who believes the NFL blackballed him for expressing his views on gay rights.
“He has no respect for our country,” one team executive said of Kaepernick, according to Bleacher Report. “F— that guy.”
Freeman said another exec told him, “In my career, I have never seen a guy so hated by front office guys as Kaepernick.”
Meanwhile, Kaepernick was already in jeopardy of not making the team because of poor performance on the field before the anthem protest became national news.
The 49ers issued this statement: “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”