Fans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still out
After a six-year break from professional football, Tim Tebow is on his way back to the NFL, while Colin Kaepernick has yet to be signed by any NFL team.
After a six-year break from professional football, Tim Tebow is on his way back to the NFL. The 33 year-old has signed a one-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars and will play as a tight end, CBS Sports reports.
The news comes as an affront to supporters of Colin Kaepernick, who has not played in the NFL since January 2017 and filed a complaint against the organization alleging that owners were blackballing him in October 2017, according to a timeline compiled by ABC 7 News.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback began his peaceful protests against systemic anti-Black racism and police brutality at the beginning of the professional season in 2016. The posture of his protest–a kneel during the national anthem, emblematic of the grief felt by Black Americans amid ongoing injustices, was meant to show respect to the military but still subjected to scorn by right-wing owners and politicians including, former President Donald Trump.
Despite tryouts in 2019 and being recognized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Amnesty International, and other institutions for his activism, Kaepernick has not been signed by any NFL teams.
In 2017, speculations spun around the possibility of Kaepernick being signed by the Jaguars after owner Shahid Khan said he was open to the idea in a radio interview. The same year, Khan supported Jaguars players who kneeled during a game in London which journalist Roland Martin referred to in a tweet asking, “if [Khan] gave the thumbs up to signing Tim Tebow for a position he has NEVER played, why not @Kaepernick7?”
In 2020, NFL commissioner Robert Goodell said he encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick, but there have been no offers reported to date. Tebow, who won the Heisman trophy during his college career at the University of Florida, has played for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was released by the latter three teams throughout his career.
Critics have spoken out against the double standard applied to Kaepernick and Tebow, citing that at 33, both players are the same age, and both have spent time away from the league, yet Kaepernick remains ousted. In addition, as a tight end, Tebow will also be playing in a position he hasn’t played before.
“Tim Tebow has gotten to fail at being an NFL QB, a minor league baseball player and an NFL TE—at age 33 despite never playing the position And YET … I don’t even gotta say it.” said sports writer Tyler Conway.
Football player Dez Bryant, who is a free agent like Kaepernick, also shared his confusion on Twitter.
“So Tebow haven’t played an NFL game in damn near a decade and it’s that simple…no hate but you got to be kidding me.”
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