The Miami Dolphins took some heat over the weekend after they announced they were signing a seasoned quarterback to replace their injured starter instead of controversial QB Colin Kaepernick.
The Miami football franchise announced Sunday they had signed 34-year-old Jay Cutler to a one-year contract to replace injured franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The move forced Cutler to come out of retirement and forego a position at Fox Sports as a game analyst.
The Dolphins had been shopping for a quarterback due to the uncertainty surrounding Tannehill and whether or not he would undergo surgery for stretched ligaments in his left knee, according to ESPN.com. The quarterback injured his knee in training camp last Thursday. A surgery to repair the knee would likely be season-ending.
The move came somewhat as a surprise given that Cutler had already announced his retirement and there was at least one highly seasoned starting QB who could have replaced Tannehill for a season: Kaepernick.
However, Kaepernick has become one of the most controversial players in the NFL after his season-long protest of the national anthem last year. Beginning last preseason, Kaepernick began keeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality in U.S.
The protest brought much vitriol to Kaepernick and his team, the San Francisco 49ers. So at the end of the season, the 49ers chose not to resign Kaepernick. The quarterback, who led the 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl, has remained unsigned throughout the offseason.
Many Kaepernick supporters have accused the NFL of “blackballing” Kaepernick or punishing him for his protest. So when the Dolphins announced Sunday they had signed Cutler over the free agent Kaepernick, charges of racism quickly hit social media:
Folks I am APPALLED that the Dolphins had the AUDACITY to sign that scrub Jay Cutler over Colin Kaepernick. Pure racism at its finest.
— New England Patriots (@Sp0rtsTalkJoey) August 6, 2017
I'm not sure what it says about Jay Cutler that the Dolphins signing him is what it took for most fans to realize how racist the NFL is.
— Johnny Taylor, Jr. (@hipsterocracy) August 6, 2017
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) August 6, 2017
What more to say?
This country can't handle the thought of a brilliant & principled Black man living his values.https://t.co/aenYQlc3Ug
— Christopher Petrella (@CFPetrella) August 6, 2017
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) August 6, 2017
Others had a different take, and suggested Cutler’s signing had nothing to do with Kaepernick — or his race — at all:
The thing about Colin Kaepernick is he's not good
— trubisky drafter (@FakePaceGM) August 6, 2017
The Dolphins didn't sign Jay Cutler over Colin Kaepernick to make a statement, they signed Cutler because he's simply better pic.twitter.com/rwlNHLs0Mf
— Harrison Whiteside (@26whiteside26) August 6, 2017
Colin kaepernick could be tom Brady, if you wear a t shirt embracing Fidel Castro you simply can't play for Miami. Easy decision
— Louis Beck (@LouisBeck2) August 6, 2017
You guys forget that Colin Kaepernick supported Fidel Castro and got booed by the entire Dolphins fan base when he played there.
— Chase Snyder (@ChasingSnyder) August 6, 2017
Cutler retired from pro football in May after playing eight seasons with the Chicago Bears and three seasons with the Denver Broncos.
According to reports, former NFL QB Tim Tebow was also considered for the position. Tebow is currently pursuing a major league baseball career and plays for the New York Mets’ Class A-advanced Florida affiliate.