Dick Vitale defends ‘blackballed’ Colin Kaepernick on Instagram
Dick Vitale on Tuesday took to Instagram to passionately defend Colin Kaepernick, who remains without an NFL job.
The iconic ESPN broadcaster points out in his post that while he doesn’t necessarily agree with the Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem, he defends the quarterback’s right to do so.
Vitale also argues that Kaepernick is in fact being blackballed by the league, despite NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, among others, suggesting that’s not the case.
“Come on now, that’s unbelievable — that is being blackballed at its best,” Vitale said. “Look, I didn’t believe and I didn’t really agree with the fact that he didn’t stand for the national anthem. But that it is his right. That’s the First Amendment.”
It warrants mentioning that Vitale previously criticized Kaepernick over the latter’s anthem protest. Last August, just as the controversy was in its earliest stages, Vitale took to Twitter to criticize Kaepernick over the protest.
Look there r forums 4 @Kaepernick7 to unload on issues that trouble him but PLEASE do not DISRESPECT the flag! https://t.co/dJZ0t7MjfQ
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) August 28, 2016
Vitale provides for an interesting case study on the ongoing Kaepernick saga. While Vitale disagrees with Kaepernick’s methods, he will defend the quarterback’s right to exercise them.
Kaepernick’s continued unemployment remains one of the more confounding story lines in the NFL, especially given how the likes of Jay Cutler have managed to catch on with teams.
Countless theories have been forwarded as to the reasons behind Kaepernick remaining unsigned, including his decision to be a vegan, among other arguably dubious explanations. Although it appears the prevailing one is that NFL teams fear a potential backlash should they sign Kaepernick.
Still, until Kaepernick signs with an NFL team — if he ever does — his name will continue to be the source of much debate. And the case can be made Kaepernick will remain a controversial figure regardless of his NFL future.