Something happened today in the NFL that probably flew under many people’s radars, but we want to use the moment as a teaching point: The league is racist, and that’s really sad it has gotten away with it in this day and age. But follow the money, and most of the NFL’s fan base is … well, not the most “accepting” of demographics.
Look at the statistical lines here for two players, that shall remain nameless for now, although intrepid readers will know exactly who each of these players are:
• Player A: 32-32 record as a starting QB with an 88.9 QB rating and 2,300 rushing yards
• Player B: 59-87-1 record as starting QB with an 82.3 QB rating and 2,623 rushing yards
One can logically assume Player A (75) has played fewer NFL games than Player B (166). Yet oddly, Player B is only 5 years older than Player A. Somehow, Player B has kept his job as an NFL quarterback for 17 years playing for 9 different teams, starting at least 1 game a season in the last 14 straight years. Meanwhile, Player A—despite being clearly a better player—only had a 6-year career with a single team.
Yes, you guessed what this is about: Player A is Colin Kaepernick. And Player B, who announced his retirement today, is Ryan Fitzpatrick. We can’t say anything about Kaep’s game that hasn’t already been said—even at his worst, going 1-10 as a starter in 2016 on a really bad San Francisco 49ers team, he still posted a 90.7 QB rating and ran for 468 yards. That’s better than Fitzpatrick’s production levels.
The retiring player is the definition of mediocrity at the position; he never led a team to the postseason. Broken down over 17 seasons, you can see his rushing ability was average, at best. Everyone liked to point out he went to Harvard as the reason he could stay in the league, but … he literally only managed one full season with a winning record (10-6 with the 2015 New York Jets). And he kept getting paid.
We all know Kaepernick took the 49ers to within a few yards of a Super Bowl title in 2012, and when the organization led that head coach that drafted him leave, Kaepernick’s record as a starter was 29-16. In his final two years with two different head coaches, his record dropped down to .500 overall. The off-the-field attention basically meant the NFL pushed him out of the league, in favor of … mediocrity.
Oh, and there is that one other big issue: Fitzpatrick is white, and Kaepernick is Black. Enough said.