Listen America, just wait it out a little longer, okay? Just a few more days and we never have to talk about this again.
It’s exceedingly likely that the 49ers will cut their former starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick after (if not prior to) the team’s final preseason game on Thursday. With any luck, the team will choose not to delay the inevitable and will cut Kaepernick prior to kickoff, thusly not allowing him the courtesy of bolstering his post-football media profile when he inevitably chooses to sit out the anthem yet again.
And make no mistake, that’s what this is all about. Kaepernick will still be paid handsomely even after his relationship with the Niners comes to an end, as he will still be owed the remainder of his massive contract. Rather than spend the foreseeable future as a journeyman backup, the belittled husk of what was once a Super Bowl-starting quarterback, Kaepernick made the calculated decision to use his final days as a 49er to parlay his on-field celebrity into off-field notoriety, as he attempts to make the jump to full-time activist.
But that effort will be futile if we can all just turn the other way. Make this the last article you ever read about the man. Stop burning his jersey. Stop allowing him to be the subject of your righteous indignation. Don’t give this insufferable, dimwitted tool another second of your concern.
The danger of the online outrage machine is that it allows obnoxious would-be media trolls like Kaepernick to maintain relevance for far longer than they have any business doing so. And the attention that you provide him only allows him to perpetuate that shred of relevance for an indefinite amount of time. Only a few days ago, Kaepernick was a lowly bench-warmer in the twilight of his once-promising career, soon to be remembered for only a brief moment of stardom that gave way to disappointment, lackluster performance, and a loathsome Beats by Dre commercial that I believe played on a continuous loop throughout each commercial break of the 2013 season. Now he has launched himself back into the national spotlight. And he is feeding off your disdain.
Colin Kaepernick had every right to sit out the national anthem. And the American people have the right to allow him to fade into the annals of history alongside countless other forgotten failures who once wore an NFL jersey if they should choose to do so. Kaepernick will soon be either the face of a movement or the answer to a trivia question, depending on how we collectively choose to react to him.
So please, America, let’s agree to just let this guy go.