Stephen A. Smith thinks he knows the reason why Colin Kaepernick won’t return to the NFL. The “First Take” host explained on the Friday, March 23 episode that he doesn’t necessarily think Kaepernick no longer wishes to be an NFL quarterback but that he’s “preoccupied” with his political stance.
Smith explained Kaep has made more than $40 million during his professional football career and that when the now-free agent QB decided to take a knee in his San Francisco 49ers jersey during his national anthem, the “message [about Black oppression] was hijacked by the president of the United States.”
Now, adds Smith, NFL owners “are dealing with the residual impact of the president successfully hijacking that message.” He said that because of the “profound effect” the incident had on the league, they’re trying to separate themselves from Kaepernick.
“Colin Kaepernick seems hell-bent on not letting them do it,” he says. “Which means that his target has changed from addressing society to now addressing the National Football League, and the National Football League, in my opinion, is going to push back, which is why he’s not gonna get back in.”
As for whether or not Kaepernick has any expectations of getting back into the NFL, Smith says the QB’s priorities have changed.
“I think that he loves the fact that he has been martyred,” Smith says. “And he’s more preoccupied with that than being an NFL quarterback. I’m not saying he doesn’t want to be an NFL quarterback, I’m saying that that doesn’t appear to be his priority more than being martyred for the position that he’s taken. He’s enjoying this.”