Erstwhile quarterback Colin Kaepernick was invited to seek employment elsewhere Friday, and this time the rebuke wasn’t from an NFL owner.
Two-time Pro Bowl running back Herschel Walker checked in with TMZ Sports with some unsolicited advice for Kaepernick, who has been unable to latch on with another team since opting out of his 49ers contract in early 2017.
The kneeling, Walker said, has got to go.
“I own a chicken company,” Walker said. “If the guy that I hire don’t do what I ask him to do, why do I hire him? And I think that’s the problem right there, you know.”
That’s a curious way to frame what is essentially a First Amendment issue, but anyway.
Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, said he respected Kaepernick’s protests — for a time.
“What he was doing was great. What he stood for was great. Black Lives Matter. Now he’s still pushing it, which is fine. But if you want to push this, let’s go to Congress and push it. Quit trying to push it at your job. He’s got to remember that you have teams that are saying, ‘If you do what we ask you to do, you may have a job.’ I’ve read where they asked him if he will still kneel if they hire him and he said he wasn’t sure, or he may. And that tells you he doesn’t want to work.”
What about the notion that Kaepernick believes he is answering a higher calling?
“Sometimes I have a big mouth,” Walker said. “But I’ve seen them put him the same (class as) Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali. That’s a far reach right there and it’s sad that people would think something like that. That’s two different things. What he was standing for, he was kneeling for, was great. But now it’s time, if you want to work you’ve got to do what your boss asks you to do. Otherwise, you don’t work.”
Meanwhile, the Deposition Shuttle pulled into the Great Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Friday for a rendezvous with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, TMZ reported.
Kraft was to be deposed by Kaepernick’s legal team as part of a collusion grievance Kaepernick has lodged against the NFL. It was unknown if Kaepernick sat in on the deposition — as a party to the grievance it is his right — but he has attended several, if not all, such hearings.
Interestingly enough, Friday’s events brought Kaepernick into the orbit, however tangentially, of President Donald Trump — who during his presidential campaign suggested Kaepernick should find another country he likes better.
Walker, in the wake of his Heisman season, was signed by the New Jersey Generals of the late, great U.S. Football League, who were owned by Trump. As a junior, he took a lot of flak for it, too. He was the first college football player to go pro at a time when the NFL would not accept a player with NCAA eligibility remaining. Speaking of trail blazers.
Walker was recently appointed to a position on Trump’s Fitness Council.
Kraft and Trump have a longstanding friendship. To what extent that was affected when Kraft bemoaned Trump’s “divisive and … horrible” rhetoric regarding the national anthem protests is unknown.