Prior to Saturday's unprecedented, privileged NFL workout for Colin Kaepernick, sports media made their "final arguments" to the court of public opinion. Max Kellerman of the ESPN First Take program and Jarrett Bell of USA Today shilled for the return of the man who's been in exile and who's broken no rules or laws. First Take's Stephen A. Smith said the NFL doesn't owe Kaepernick anything, but asserted racism was involved in teams' decisions not to employ the former San Francisco quarterback.
Smith has backed Kaepernick for the past three years. He took a long, round-about way to support him in an emotional rant that, at first, appeared to be critical of the radical:
"Who says anybody owes Colin Kaepernick a damn thing? It's time we all grow up with this. This is the National Football League. You don't owe him a job. You don't have no mandate to employ him. If you don't like what an employee does, and you decide that you want to move on from that employee ... . We've all been subjected to that. I've been fired before . ... I know many people that have been fired before. Most have felt that it's been egregious, was unfair. And if you're a black man you usually believe that it's some kinda racial connotation attached to it. ... You're usually right ... ."
It was obvious Kaepernick would pay a price for dishonoring America and igniting a firestorm of protest within the NFL, Smith continued. He applauded Kaepernick for appearing in the Nike commercial about sacrificing everything.
Smith told Kaepernick: "You better show the hell up Saturday. You show up for that workout ... . I don't want any excuses. You been puttin' videos out on social media and beyond. ... You been practicin', you been workin' out hours upon hours a day. I understand it's not ideal, there's a little shadiness to it ... . It could be all of that. There is no excuse not to show up Saturday for that workout! Show ... the ... hell ... up!"
Kellerman stubbornly refused to concede that Kaepernick made errors of judgment by offending a huge portion of the NFL's fan base. He said the nation should be striving for a place "where you are judged on your merits, that if you can do the job, and if you haven't broken any rules, and if you haven't broken any laws, you will not be unfairly denied the right to work, essentially."
Bell is another media person who's fully in the tank for Kaepernick. Appearing in a USA Today Sports Pulse video, he gave Kaepernick four points of advice: "Know your levarage (sic)", "Get your foot in the door", "Carry on with your case" and "Ball out."
Kaepernick has been shamefully "exiled," Bell complained. Whether he kneels or not should not be a condition for him to get back into the NFL with a job. But Bell encourages Kaepernick to continue the social justice garbage if he does get back in the league.
"Colin Kaepernick is someone that people will listen to when it comes to some of these ... societal issues, and he can use that platform wisely," Bell says, totally blowing off the huge number of fans who told the NFL "adios" because of Kaepernick's social justice stunts:
"Yes, you can be a great quarterback and a social activist. You can do both. Now people may wonder whether he's dedicated to football. I don't question that. Let's see him get back into it. Obviously he'll have a lot of catching up to do, a lot of rust to knock off and all of that, but Colin Kaepernick may be the guy that we look back on one day and say, 'hey, he came back out of exile, and he was even better than before.' "
Kaepernick has a losing career record of 28-30 as a starting NFL quarterback. That's just an inconvenient, seldom-mentioned truth to his media apologists, who are fixated on his social justice "exploits". They have fuzzy memories of past greatness and fuzzy visions of Kaepernick turning his new team into a Super Bowl contender.