With more anti-racist protests going on globally following the death of George Floyd, and the NFL admitting that they were wrong in their stance on kneeling during the national anthem, as well as committing $250 million over the next ten years to social justice, perhaps their most visible martyr in former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick may join forces with the NFL’s most hated and polarizing team in the form of the New England Patriots.
According to Heavy.com, there seems to be momentum growing over the possibility of Kaepernick landing in Foxboro and creating a potential battle to replace the recently departed six-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady. With Jarrett Stidham proverbially penciled in as the projected starter ahead of journeyman backup, Brian Hoyer, Kapernick would present a stark departure from head coach Bill Belichick’s traditional drop back, quick-strike short-to-intermediate passing offense.
Equipped with a strong arm and athletic mobility, along with a leaner and in-shape 6’4, and 224-pounds, would Kaepernick—hypothetically—be a match for The Patriot Way? Considering that Stidham is unproven at the NFL level—except for a few brief appearances that were rather forgettable—Kaepernick would be a significant upgrade over the former Auburn standout athletically and experience wise, despite being out of football for three-plus years and seven years older as he is 30 and Stidham is only 23.
With the now social and cultural changes both on and off the field in the form of fellow black quarterbacks such as Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson, Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson and Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson changing the game on the field and Kaepernick first bringing social justice to the league’s attention before being blackballed out of it by white ownership, the NFL and those said owners could save some serious face in not only pushing for a team to sign Kaepernick, but a team that plays in a city with a checkered racial past as Boston in the Patriots.
As a non-native new Englander and black sports fan and journalist, there has always been something that has just proverbially rubbed me raw about Boston. Whether it’s the insufferable arrogance of their fans, or their nauseating liberal elitist attitude, Boston has just given off this obnoxious, snobby and downright smug attitude of being better than everyone.
Aside from what the Patriots (6), Celtics (1), Bruins (1) and Red Sox (4) have done in their respective fields in bringing home the most championships (12) than any other North American city since the turn of the 21st century, but even all of those accolades cant change or shale the city’s ugly past of mistreating and racially abusing black athletes ranging from 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell to former Red Sox star—and current Los Angeles Dodgers OF Mookie Betts to visiting All-Stars such as Adam Jones and Torii Hunter.
The one thing that has always stuck in my proverbial craw about Boston—aside the annoying and insufferable loudmouths from Red Sox Nation—is that they were the last MLB team to integrate back in 1959, when they signed Elijah Green. Conveniently, that was also the genesis of what would become the NBA’s most storied dynasty in the Red Auberach-led Celtics juggernaut.
Long considered the storied cradle of W.A.S.P. liberalism, Boston had no problem winning championships off the backs of black players such as Willie O’Ree, Paul Pierce, David Ortiz and Willie McGinest.
Not that the Patriots are in need of a re-brand or proverbial pivot, but if the Patriots hope to evolve and move on from Brady and properly assimilate into the modern-day pro-black QB era, then Kaepernick would be a great start. It would also enable New England to keep up with the younger and more athletic QB’s in the AFC east in the form of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa. While Stitdam is younger, he is also very raw as opposed to Kaepernick, who is ready to play and has Super Bowl experience.
While it is a long shot, considering what has happened over the last two weeks since the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the explosion of anti-racism and social justice reform, and calls for him to be allowed to play in the NFL again, considering Boston’s racist past and Kaepernick being a symbol of the need for change, a Kaep-Pats union may not seem like such a bad thing.