*Cam Newton, Von Miller and Aaron Rodgers have joined several other NFL players in saying publicly that Colin Kaepernick deserves a spot on an NFL roster.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday (Sept. 5), Carolina Panthers quarterback Newton said it’s “unfair” that the former San Francisco 49er remains unsigned, and that the free agent is “absolutely” better than some of the league’s quarterbacks that will start next Sunday.
Denver Broncos star Miller also spoke out today in support of Kaepernick, telling Sports Illustrated “SI Now Live” there are not 64 QBs better than Colin.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 5, 2017
Last week, Aaron Rodgers became the most high-profile white player to address the topic in an interview with ESPN the Magazine’s Mina Kimes.
Read an excerpt below:
The word “blackballed” is being used with greater frequency, though some people in and around the NFL maintain that the quarterback simply isn’t very good. I ask Rodgers what he thinks, and he demurs at first, then says it would be “ignorant” to suggest Kaepernick’s stance didn’t play a role in his employment status.
A few weeks later, he reaffirms his point. “I think he should be on a roster right now,” he says. “I think because of his protests, he’s not.”
Rodgers tells me that while he doesn’t plan on sitting out the anthem, he believes the protests — which he describes as peaceful and respectful — are positive, mentioning that he’s had conversations with a new teammate, tight end Martellus Bennett, about the issues they represent. “I’m gonna stand because that’s the way I feel about the flag — but I’m also 100 percent supportive of my teammates or any fellow players who are choosing not to,” he says. “They have a battle for racial equality. That’s what they’re trying to get a conversation started around.”
I ask him what he thinks about that battle — the actual subject of Kaepernick’s protest. As always, he pauses to collect his thoughts. “I think the best way I can say this is: I don’t understand what it’s like to be in that situation. What it is to be pulled over, or profiled, or any number of issues that have happened, that Colin was referencing — or any of my teammates have talked to me about.” He adds that he believes it’s an area the country needs to “remedy and improve” and one he’s striving to better understand. “But I know it’s a real thing my black teammates have to deal with.”