With less than two weeks to go before the start of the NFL regular season, league quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still without a job.
Over the offseason, football teams have continually chosen not to sign Kaepernick, which has led his supporters to cry racism. Now the NAACP and ACLU are getting more involved in the situation by demanding an NFL team hire Kaepernick. Fox News host Tucker Carlson spoke with an Atlanta NAACP leader Friday night about the demand.
Racism or not?
Gerald Griggs, vice president of the NAACP’s Atlanta chapter, told Carlson the NFL must answer why its 17th best quarterback — based on QB rating — doesn’t have a job despite the league employing more than 90 quarterbacks.
Since Kaepernick is such a skilled player, yet he doesn’t have a job, how does race or his national anthem protests not play a part in his unemployment, Griggs said.
Carlson, on the other hand, pointed out that 70 percent of the NFL’s players are black, which he said disqualifies any claim the league is racist. He also noted that Kaepernick has made tens of millions of dollars playing professional football and even signed one of the league’s biggest contracts ever in 2014.
“Just on the basis of those facts alone, it’s hard to see how Colin Kaepernick at 29 is a victim of racism,” Carlson said.
The ‘obvious’ question..
After arguing back and forth, Carlson reiterated the “obvious” question: “If [NFL] owners are racist, why are 70 percent of their employees black? Wouldn’t they not want to hire black people if they were racist and pay them hundreds of millions of dollars?”
“This is about talent — and, again, his talent speaks for itself,” Griggs answered. “If there’s no other reason than talent that’s keeping him off the field, I think that’s a question better asked to the owners.”
It’s that important?
Carlson then shifted the conversation and grilled Griggs over problems that plague the black community, such as 70 percent of children being born to unmarried parents.
“Is that a bigger problem or a smaller problem than Colin Kapernick getting another $126 million contract?” Carlson questioned.
The tense exchange
Griggs responded by asking what the rate is in Atlanta, but Carlson was quickly becoming unnerved by the conversation.
“Here you are sucking up to a guy who signed a $126 million contract. You think in a country of 320 million [people] you could actually find someone who’s actually a victim of racism or oppression,” Carlson chided. “But this guy is 29 years old and has more money than god — he’s the victim?”
“There are a lot of people who might need your help,” he added. “How is Kaepernick one of them?”
“This is about talent. This is about the NFL. This is about the NFL needing to answer the question why the 17th best quarterback in the league is out of a job,” Griggs explained.
“Your position is so absurd,” Carlson shot back. “Do you feel that your devaluing any of your moral authority by taking your time and energy defending 29-year-old millionaires against fake accusations of racism.
Griggs responded by again saying there’s no “real reason” Kaepernick isn’t signed to a team. “We are sending a strong message to [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell…if he decides not to meet with us, then we will decide to take appropriate actions after that.”