So now it appears Colin Kaepernick has parlayed his “woe is me” football martyrdom into an ACLU Award, and consideration as Time Man of the Year. That’s a heady leap for a failed quarterback who deliberately chose to opt out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers this past March.
His American Civil Liberties Union “honor” would seem especially ironic. After all, the early, fearless civil rights crusaders literally risked life and limb to cast a ballot, while Kaepernick, who didn’t even register to vote, got the ACLU’s “Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award”; for taking a knee during our National Anthem.
Local director Hector Villagra tried boosting Colin’s bonafides by proclaiming, “He took a stand knowing that some would criticize him and he has been viciously and unfairly criticized. He has lost his job, one that he loved and was supremely talented and skilled at.”
What Hector failed to mention was Kaepernick had filed a suit against National Football League team owners in October. That would be right in the heart of the season. And as former NFL quarterback great Warren Moon observed, “….does he really want to play if he’s gonna….sue the league and then try to get signed by a football team…?”
Kaepernick better hope Villagra’s right about the QB’s skill set and passion for the game, because Colin will need it once his meteoric rise as civil rights icon inevitably crashes and burns. We’d recommend he get his signal caller mojo back by trying Canadian Football.
That relocation could be a good for two important reasons. First, Canada’s very liberal Prime Minister leads his country pretty hard left, and would likely take great delight in seeing a high profile, anti-Trump athlete head north. Second, on a professional level Kaepernick could follow a trail blazed by several other “dissed” American quarterbacks who played in the CFL, and then went on to find great success in the National Football League.
Here are stories of 3 tenacious athletes that Mr. Kaepernick might, but probably won’t, find inspiring.
All-American Joe Theismann graduated Notre Dame in 1970. He was drafted by both the Miami Dolphins and baseball’s Minnesota Twins. But after prolonged negotiations with the Dolphins failed he signed with the Toronto Argonauts, where he was an all-star in 1971 and 1973. In 1974 Theismann joined the Washington Redskins. He went on to lead the Skins to a Super Bowl title, Joe was selected as the NFL’s MVP, made 2 Pro Bowl Appearances, and was chosen NFL Man of the Year.
After holding the San Jose’ State record for most career offensive yards, Jeff Garcia was not selected by a single team in the 1994 National Football League Draft. They felt he was “too small”. Undaunted he earned a spot on the Calgary Stampeders roster, was a four-time CFL All-Star, and won the 86th Grey Cup (Canadian championship). In 1999 Garcia joined the San Francisco 49ers. Competing in the NFL, Jeff won multiple playoff games and was selected to 4 Pro Bowls.
Despite a terrific college career (Rose Bowl MVP) the aforementioned Warren Moon went undrafted by the National Football League, and signed with the Edmonton Eskimos. He was a big part of that team winning 5 consecutive Grey Cup victories and was the game’s MVP twice. In 1983 Moon won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award. The following year Warren entered the NFL. Over the next 17 years Moon appeared in many post season games, and amassed numerous personal honors. He was a 9 time Pro-Bowler, NFL MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, passing yards leader, passing touchdowns leader, and NFL Man of the Year.
Warren Moon was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, becoming the first African-American quarterback and the first undrafted signal caller to be so honored.
We could, however, find no record of this truly ground breaking athlete being honored by the ACLU. Maybe when they’re through using Kaepernick.