For the first time since 2016, Colin Kaepernick is back in John Madden Football; the video game. While Kap's still unsigned by an NFL team, the 49ers starting QB from 2012-2015; 2016 was added to the free agent list in the game's latest update.
In case you've been under a rock since 2016; when the name Colin Kaepernick is mentioned, the read-option is no longer the first thing that comes to mind. Now controversy is soon to follow. He's probably the most polarizing American athlete since Muhammad Ali.
Admittedly, I was anti-kneeling at first. It rubbed me the wrong way. I took pride in being an American, so to see people "disrespecting the flag" angered me. I talked hella shit about Kap, but I no longer feel that way. I can admit when I was wrong and I was wrong back then. I didn't entirely get it. I think like a lot of middle class white dudes, I was naive to surroundings that didn't directly impact me first hand. For sake of time, I can say that's no longer the case. If you want to call me "woke" fucking go for it. I have seen the systemic racial discrepancies in this country at work everyday since the fall of 2018.
Whether you support BLM or are anti-Civil Rights; There is no denying the social impact Kaepernick's anthem protests have had. There is a national dialogue now. The NBA has Black Lives Matter written across the court and have agreed to use NBA arenas as voting centers to help fight voter suppression. I have a hard time believing that happens without Kap paving the way in 2016.
Despite not playing in an NFL game since 1/1/2017, Colin technically is a free agent and has been since March of 2017. He has not retired, so he completely deserves to be in the Madden free agent mix. If Taylor Heinicke and his one career touchdown pass can be in the game, then so should Kap IMO.
However,,,,, it should come as no surprise that controversy will follow this decision to add Kap to Madden. I gotta say I can understand some people's grief.
What bothers me and should bother everybody with any football integrity is that Colin Kaepernick was given an 81 overall. This same man who was 4-20 in his last 24 starts with a sub-60 career completion percentage and a 74 last time he was in the game is now a 81 and Top 15 QB in the NFL? Does a swagged out 'fro really add that much Madden value? Is this the NFL's way of saying "our bad" for black-listing?
I know Ryan Tannehill was a 2019 version of Bob Griese in the playoffs, but he still was Comeback Player of the Year and handed the ball of the Derrick Henry quite effectively as he led his team to the AFC Championship Game.
Cam Newton has been hurt the last two years, but in 2018 his Panthers were 6-2 before the wheels fell off and he led them to the playoffs in 2017. Both of those things happened more recently than Kaepernick's last NFL snap.
Despite his lack of touch, Josh Allen can still throw the ball a quarter mile and led his Buffalo Bills to the playoffs last year and as rookie upset the Vikings in Week 3 of the 2018 season in the game that fucked up America's parlay.
My goldfish/soul diesel brain tends to forget references in blogs, but I know I just used the John Mulaney bit on crime news in my latest Taco Bell blog, but damnit it fits here too!! You're really trying to tell me Colin Kaepernick, who is going on four years out of football is better than the men I just listed and gave about a sentence each about??
Look, I don't care if Colin Kaepernick ends global warming, homelessness and racial discrimination. None of those have anything to do with the gridiron (sorta). Just because he's made a stand doesn't mean he's a better QB than 2020 MVP Cam Newton (no bias) or Heisman winners and #1 overall draft picks Kyler Murray & Joe Burrow after being out of football for three plus seasons. Hopefully Kap will get signed this year and we'll get to see if this rating is truly justified.
P.S. Kap has a custom intro to address his time out of the league. Fitting that he's in a Bears jersey...despite everything I just said about the 81 being way too high, I'd roll the dice with four years of Kaepernick dust over a fully healthy Mitch Trubisky.