Want to distract public attention from your school district's lousy academic ratings? Shift the topic to Colin Kaepernick by writing a letter to the Washington Redskins imploring them to give him a tryout! And say you're teaching your students valuable lessons in the process. That's the thinking of seven members of the Prince George’s County, Maryland school board who seem more concerned with social justice than academics.
ABC News posted the letter on Twitter, which says, in part:
“As school board members our reasons for wanting Kaepernick to get a try-out are simple. We believe that giving Kaepernick an opportunity will send the right message to our students and community members, who see him as someone who cares about issues affecting our community. If Kaepernick is signed we hope to work with his philanthropic organization to partner with our most needy students and provide more opportunities for our students.”
Board member David Murray said, “Knowing that we have the most dire need for him, we want him signed right now. He can do a lot of great work to support our schools and our county if he comes here.” Fellow board member Ed Burroughs commented, "I’m so proud of the work that Colin Kaepernick has done across the country.”
Board members also reminded Snyder that in 1988 Washington's Doug Williams (currently the team's senior vice president of player personnel) became the first African-American quarterback to lead a team to victory in the Super Bowl. They contend that Kaepernick could provide the same inspiration for today's students in the D.C. area. All Kaepernick needs is the Redskins' starting quarterback job, and presto, it's 2013 all over again when he and the 49ers played in the Super Bowl. It's just that easy! That rough, losing 2016 season was just an aberration after all.
And what, there are no current opportunities for the students in the school district that ranks 23rd among Maryland's 24 school districts to serve their communities? It can only happen with Kaepernick's philanthropic organization ... and only if he is employed by the Redskins?
Scott Chiusano, of The New York Daily News, claims "Kaepernick has been blackballed by the NFL since 2016 for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality of black men and women. There have been many opportunities over the past two years for teams to come calling, but none more obvious than Washington. Right now the team is on its fourth-string quarterback, Josh Johnson, after starter Alex Smith and backup Colt McCoy both suffered broken legs and ringer Mark Sanchez suffered a case of shattered confidence after a 40-16 thumping at the hands of the Giants."
Chiusano criticized Redskins' head coach Jay Gruden for offering "a half-hearted excuse as to why the team was going in a different direction, saying it would take too much time to get Kaepernick up to speed on the offense. That seems like revisionist history, considering once upon a time Kaepernick stepped in for an injured Alex Smith and led the 49ers to the Super Bowl." This was as recent as five years ago and Kaepernick's still got game!
To throw more mud on Kaepernick detractors, Chiusano deviated course to complain that the NFL is having a hard time finding a Super Bowl halftime performer. He says entertainers don't want to be associated with the league because it's denying Kaepernick a chance to play pro football again.
If the Redskins sign Kaepernick, it would give the Prince George County school board members yet another opportunity to distract public attention from their failing schools. They said they "stand ready to support the organization from backlash if it decides to give Kaepernick a deserved shot." How? They didn't say.
“As school board members, not standing for the national anthem wouldn’t cost us the opportunity to work, and it shouldn’t cost him either,” these distracted board members wrote. The media covering this story would have done well to urge the school board to set social justice activism aside and focus on climbing out of the state's academic basement.