As NFL owners and their besieged commissioner, Roger Goodell, blame kneeling players for diminished interest in the games, one prominent American athlete believes the league is hurt by its treatment of the man at the center of the uprising.
The failure to crack a door for Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick has some fans turning away from the NFL, according to Warriors big man David West.
“One part (of declining interest) that I think is being overlooked and is being dismissed is the impact of them not hiring or getting Colin Kaepernick in the league,” West said on this week’s Warriors Insider Podcast. “We know he should be on somebody’s roster.
“But what they’re discounting is that people aren’t watching the NFL because of the way they are treating Colin Kaepernick. That is a real thing. There are a lot of people who have stopped watching football, who are not going to games.”
As team after team turns to quarterback after quarterback with vastly inferior credentials, Kaepernick sits unemployed, ignored by NFL power brokers who imply their “fans” would revolt if he were signed to their team.
Some fans surely are jersey-burning angry over the wave of demonstrations started last season, when Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem as a way of protesting social inequality in America.
West is certain plenty of fans stand with the former 49ers quarterback. And there is anecdotal evidence to support West’s assertion, instances of fans turning to social media or attending games at various NFL venues carrying signs supportive of Kaepernick and others involved in the movement.
“That idea is not being talked about enough,” West said. “It’s the other way around. They’re saying people aren’t watching the NFL because guys are protesting.
“I’m not sure that the numbers, if we really, really look at who’s watching and who’s not going, I’m not sure that those numbers are the way that they are projecting them to be, in my opinion. I think there are a lot of people who aren’t watching because of the way Colin Kaepernick is being treated.”