On Saturday night, the NFL joined numerous other organizations and brands in denouncing racism and violence against the Black community. Given the recent history that the league has with this issue, most specifically Colin Kaepernick’s allegations of collusion against the league, it was not well-received.
“The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country,” commissioner Roger Goodell wrote over the weekend. “The protesters’ reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.” The statement was quickly ripped by players, fans, and the media.
Chicago Bears star Akiem Hicks didn’t mince words when discussing the NFL’s issues today. The 2018 Pro Bowler and 2019 Bears’ Brian Piccolo Award winner addressed the Kaepernick situation directly, in talking to the media today. One of his former teammates would up on the unfortunate end of a quote making the rounds on social media.
In discussing the blackballing of Colin Kaepernick, the Bears defensive end laid things out very plainly. “We signed Mike Glennon,” he said, referencing the team’s decision to go with the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer in 2017. Kaepernick was available that offseason, and remains a free agent after being released by the San Francisco 49ers years ago.
#Bears DL Akiem Hicks after answering a question about Colin Kaepernick getting blackballed:
"We signed Mike Glennon."
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) June 3, 2020
“When he took a knee, he was silenced. Or they attempted to silence him,” Hicks went on to say. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times tweeted they had an “absolutely powerful conversation.”
Hicks’ Bears weren’t the only team that fits this exact description either:
While Kaepernick remains out of the league, by the way, Mike Glennon has been signed THREE times since he left the Bears.
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) June 3, 2020
Kaepernick led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012, and followed it up with a return to the NFC Championship Game in 2013. He holds multiple NFL records for rushing yards by a quarterback.
Even if teams were convinced that he couldn’t be an adequate starter after 2016, the fact that he hasn’t had one really legitimate opportunity to land with a team and prove himself makes it hard to see it as anything other than what he alleged.
Kaepernick’s lawsuit against the NFL reached a confidential settlement in February 2019.