The president’s lone bragging point about African Americans has been about how low the Black unemployment rate is. So it should be strange to see Donald Trump taking apparent pleasure in seeing a Black man denied employment in a profession that he came within one touchdown of taking a franchise to the pro football’s greatest glory.
The keyword there, of course, was “should.”
It’s long been established that the president marches to the beat of his own racist drum, and so it would follow that Trump, when asked, expressed doubt to a reporter on Friday that Colin Kaepernick — someone who the president previously referred to as a “sonofabitch” — was good enough to make an NFL roster this season, which is less than a month away.
“Should Colin Kaepernick get an opportunity to play in the NFL?” Trump was asked.
“Only if he’s good enough,” Trump, turning around, shot back almost immediately before continuing later. “I think if he was good enough … they’d sign him,” Trump said in reference to the NFL owners who he said he was very good friends with.
But for once, Trump must not have been paying attention to Twitter, which has had timelines across the globe flooded with tweets about a video the Super Bowl quarterback posted to his social media channels two days ago showing just how prepared he was for a return to a league that was replete with a number of questionable starting and backup quarterbacks.
The video shows the free agent quarterback during an intense workout, something he said he’s done five days each week for the past three years while being “denied work.” The Instagram post said he’s “still ready.”
Kaepernick’s clout has grown in recent months and the national anthem kneeling protest that he sparked in 2016 has continued with other players in the league who have avoided the same level of scrutiny as the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Just last month, Kaepernick 86’ed Nike’s Betsy Ross-themed line of sneakers for the Fourth of July, telling the sports apparel company that it could offend some people. And in February, Kaepernick won a major settlement against the NFL, prompting his lawyer to predict the player’s return to the league.
That said, Kaepernick’s old team recently drafted a college player with a documented history of posting racist tweets. If that was any indication of what may come for Kaepernick, his return to the NFL remained far from guaranteed.