The NFL might be, incredibly, facing it’s biggest hurdle this upcoming season — which starts in less than two weeks — as the anthem kneeling debate has been rekindled on the heels of the NFL’s new “hide in the locker room” rule.
Now, a group of players are purportedly planning on boycotting next season if their anthem-kneeling overlord, Colin Kaepernick, isn’t signed to a team by then, and his prospects two weeks out from the season start don’t look good.
According to the sometimes-reliable Shaun King, “several” “star” NFL players are considering sitting out this season unless former 49ers second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick and fellow national anthem protester Eric Reid are signed to teams.
King reported Sunday that these same “star players” aim to get 25% of the league participating in their boycott.
Both Kaepernick and Reid have filed “collusion grievances” with the National Football League, claiming that owners decided, as a group, to lock them out of playing professional football. Kaepernick hasn’t played since 2016, when he turned down a one-year contract to play quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, in search of a better deal — something he apparently thought his protest qualified him for. Reid played in the 2017 season but has not yet been picked up for the 2018 season.
Now that the league has an official policy on national anthem protests, these “star” players feel Kaepernick and Reid should get roster spots, according to NBC News.
If King’s report proves true, this could be a costly season for some NFL players; teams may fine players up to $40,000 per day for sitting out training camp, and players who don’t play won’t earn their per-game checks, and some may even have to give back any signing bonus they received on condition that they play weekly in the NFL. That’s a lot of money to forfeit for two players who aren’t necessarily at the top of their respective games.
NBC’s analysts say they haven’t heard any rumors of players not showing up for training camp, and if players wanted to protest, there are “optional” team activities they could sit out during the summer at no cost.
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