There’s been a lot of talk about the Baltimore Ravens’ interest in signing Colin Kaepernick, which has been met with backlash. But that backlash is foolish.
NOTE: This is an opinion piece. The views presented in this piece are solely that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Baltimore Wire.
There’s been a lot of talk about how interested the Baltimore Ravens are in quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and that’s caused quite a stir in the city of Baltimore. Some fans have reportedly voiced their displeasure with the idea of signing Kaepernick, but the backlash is foolish, as Kaepernick would be a perfect fit for Baltimore.
If you live in a cave and don’t know why people are all bent out of sorts about Kaepernick, here’s why: last season, Kaepernick decided to kneel during the National Anthem each game as a form of peaceful protest, saying “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
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Here’s the thing that bothers me: The NFL has featured players accused of murder, players who have committed domestic abuse (remember one of them being applauded in M&T Bank Stadium after he was shown on video hitting his fiancee?), have committed burglary, have driven drunk (and one former Raven even killed someone doing it), have committed sexual assault, but NFL fans draw the line at kneeling during the National Anthem? Really?
The controversy around Kaepernick shouldn’t even be a controversy, it’s an idiotic thing to get this upset about. The man exercised his right to protest and he did it in a very peaceful way to bring light to the Black Lives Matter movement.
And if you want to discredit his message, if you want to say we live in a country where people of color are not routinely targeted by police, you’d be definitively wrong, as there is study after study after study after study that has shown that black people and people of color are disproportionately targeted by authorities.
But let’s put aside the social controversy, let’s just look at pure football, would Colin Kaepernick be a good fit for the Baltimore Ravens? Absolutely he would. In fact, I think you could make a pretty fair argument that Kaepernick is better than Joe Flacco, as Pre Snap Reads does here.
The NFL has featured players accused of murder, players who have committed domestic abuse…have committed burglary, have driven drunk…have committed sexual assault, but NFL fans draw the line at kneeling during the National Anthem? Really?
Flacco has always been a serviceable starting quarterback who had an amazing playoff run and Super Bowl in 2012 and has been riding high off that ever since. Kapernick is a very solid all-around quarterback who is at least as good as, if not arguably better than, Flacco.
Not to mention that Flacco is hurt, and we don’t know how long he’ll be hurt for. It’s a back injury, and while the Ravens sound fairly optimistic about it, they were also pretty optimistic about Breshad Perriman‘s injury in 2015, and he ended up missing the entire season.
This Ravens squad has an excellent defense that I think has improved from last year’s already-great defense, and I think the offense has improved in a meaningful way with the addition of Jeremy Maclin and Danny Woodhead.
This is a team that could be a serious contender. If Flacco is hurt for a significant portion of the year, is Ryan Mallett really the guy to lead the team? He isn’t, but Kaepernick could be. Kaepernick has done it before, he’s been to the Super Bowl, he’s proven himself.
Ravens fans, and NFL fans in general, really need to stop with the Colin Kaepernick controversy, because it’s hardly a controversy at all. If the Ravens decide to sign Kaepernick, I can tell you for certain that I will be happy to have him in Baltimore, because I think he would fit well with the team.
And if he wants to kneel during the National Anthem, good for him.