The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James said Sunday that he believe former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed by NFL owners.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com reported on the comments.
“I love football, but I’m not part of the NFL. I don’t represent the NFL. I don’t know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that. Just watching, he’s an NFL player. He’s an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he’s been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that.”
James added that he doesn’t see any other plausible explanation as to why the 30-year-old quarterback isn’t playing for a team other than the backlash for the protest during the national anthem.
“The only reason I could say he’s not on a team is because the way he took a knee. That’s the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks—first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks—that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let’s just be honest.”
Kaepernick started getting nation-wide attention for taking a knee during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL preseason.
He owns a career 88.9 passer rating, which would have ranked 11th among active quarterbacks if he was on a roster entering Sunday (minimum of 1,500 pass attempts).