Colin Kaepernick’s Stance May Be His Last Stand in the NFL


Colin Kaepernick once was the toast of the NFL- obliterating defenses with his cannon arm and blowing by defenders with his gazelle like running ability.

But just as fast as he was forcing Alex Smith to the sidelines, his stardom crashed and burned. Since week one of the 2013 NFL season, when Kaepernick had arguably the greatest game of his career against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick has been aiming to recapture the magic that was supposed to make him the next great San Francisco 49ers‘ quarterback.

With a new regime in place for 2016 after an abysmal 2015 season, Kaepernick had a fresh start to compete for the quarterback reins. That was, until he took a stand against racial oppression in America by refusing to stand during the National Anthem in the 49ers’ most recent preseason game.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

But while Kaepernick’s protest has sent shockwaves beyond the sports world, it has absolutely buried the story of the 49ers’ quarterback competition. For as much heat as Kaepernick is receiving for his off the field action, his playing career is feeling just as much pressure.

The timing of his protest is dubious at best, as Kaepernick continues to find himself behind incumbent quarterback, Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert has played steadily in the preseason and has continued to build from his solid play from last season.

In his first action of the preseason, Kaepernick finished with a meager 2-for-6 completion line for 14 yards. More importantly, the 49ers scored no points with Kaepernick leading the way.

While trying to find a silver lining in his first game action since last season, the tale of the tape did not suggest that Kaepernick has figured out much in terms of reading the defense. Kaepernick was very tentative in drop back situations, displaying happy feet while trying to locate an open receiver.

On one particular play, where the Niners were deep in their own territory, Kaepernick was flushed to the right of the pocket due to the pass rush. Instead of using his insurance blanket and hitting his receiver in the flat, he danced around tentatively before succumbing to a short-yard scramble.

Many believed that Chip Kelly’s system would enhance and bring back Kaepernick’s strengths through his running ability. So far, it has looked like it has just confused and perplexed Kaepernick even more, where he was already trying to shake his reputation as a quarterback who couldn’t run through his progressions well.

Even more alarming, Kaepernick’s greatest asset looked shaky. Although he gained 18 yards on four carries, there was an indecisiveness that was apparent. Kaepernick was once so feared for his ability to use his long stride to evade tacklers. The past few seasons, that skill seems to have left him.

Colin Kaepernick
Dec 20, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) scrambles against the San Diego Chargers at Levi /

Possibly the biggest problem with Kaepernick after his big Super Bowl run is overthinking. His physical attributes have never been called into question. But it was his ability to improve the mental aspect and to process information faster on the field that pundits questioned whether he could get to the next level.

Kaepernick has heard everything the naysayers have said about him, and therein lies a big stumbling block for him. He has worked so hard to try to prove them wrong and so far, has only proved them right in their analysis of him.

If that were not enough of a distraction for Kaepernick to deal with, he has made it infinitely harder on himself with the timing of his protest. Make no mistake about it- Kaepernick is in defense mode with the media and he has a huge distraction on his plate to deal with that isn’t even related to football.

Playing quarterback is the most difficult position in the league and Kaepernick did himself no favors with his decision to sit during the National Anthem. Kudos to him for exercising his Constitutional rights, but professionally, he must recognize that he is nearing his last chance.

Next: Colin Kaepernick Stirs Debate Rife with Passion and Utter Hypocrisy

If Kaepernick wants to use his public figure status as a platform to bring attention to a social injustice, respect to him. But if he wants to stay relevant in the public eye, perhaps he should focus on his career first and find another way to fight for the cause he believes in. The clock is running out on Colin Kaepernick’s quarterbacking future.