Shaun King: Why I Won’t Be Watching The NFL This Year


I won’t be watching the NFL this year. I can’t, in good conscience, support this league, with all of its pro-Trump owners, as it blacklists my friend and brother Colin Kaepernick for taking a silent, peaceful stance against injustice and police brutality in America. It’s disgusting and has absolutely nothing to do with football and everything to do with penalizing a brilliant young man for the principled stance he took last season.

I did not want to make this decision, but seeing the Seattle Seahawks, after flying Kaepernick across country to meet with the team, instead decide to sign Austin Davis as their backup QB, was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. It’s a disgrace. The man is a scrub.

In 2012 Austin Davis wasn’t even drafted. He signed a free agent deal with Rams that year and was cut without playing a single snap. Colin Kaepernick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl that year and had some of the best stats of any quarterback in the playoffs.  His 98.3 QB rating for the season was right behind that of Tom Brady.

In 2013, the Dolphins signed Austin Davis to the practice squad, but cut him before he played a single snap. In his opening game that season for the 49ers, Kaepernick threw for 412 yards with 3 touchdowns – the most offense of a 49ers quarterback in a decade. Again, Kaepernick took his team deep into the playoffs and was only a pass away from being back in the Super Bowl. That year Kaepernick had 21 passing touchdowns with just 8 interceptions and again had a stellar 91.6 QB rating and the team had a 12-4 record. The 49ers responded by making Kaepernick one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league.

In 2014, Austin Davis finally played a little bit in the league for the St. Louis Rams, but eventually became the 3rd string quarterback and was cut again.

Last year while Davis literally sat at home and watched football, Colin Kaepernick, playing under his 3rd coach in 3 years, still threw 16 touchdowns with just 4 interceptions. The team struggled, but the coaches and team management were eventually fired because of it. Under the scrutiny of the whole world, Colin Kaepernick actually played well on the field with his best QB rating in years and more rushing yards per attempt than any year of his career. His teammates eventually voted to give him the highest honor the team has for a player for his stellar performance on and off the field.

Last season, Colin Kaepernick, in what may be seen as his most turbulent year ever, threw 3 more touchdowns and 8 fewer interceptions that Austin Davis has in his entire 5 year career in the league, but somehow, Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have job?

It’s not about football. Don’t call it football. If you call the decisions by 32 teams to not sign this man a football decision you don’t know football and probably voted for Donald Trump. 96 quarterbacks are usually signed to teams in the NFL. That Colin Kaepernick is not one of them is disgusting. Of course he’s one of the top 96 quarterbacks in the league. Kaepernick’s longtime rival, Richard Sherman, said he believed Kapernick was a top 20 quarterback.

Colin Kaepernick is not washed up. He’s in the prime of his physical career. He has no injuries. He’s brilliantly smart. He’s a good family dude with no criminal record. He’s a home body.  He’s deeply committed to community service. He gets along with his teammates. He takes care of his money. Yet, in spite of playing all of his cards right, this man can’t get a job in the league because he dared to speak out against police brutality and threaten the ridiculous fragility of the conservative white male fan base.

Let me break this down to you.

In the entire history of the NFL, 144 quarterbacks completed 200 or more passes in the season where they turned 29 years old.

143 of them were playing the next year.

Colin Kaepernick is the ONLY one not to be on a roster the following season.

I have to be honest, though, the decision to boycott the league this year was not my own. Watching the games every Sunday (and Monday and Thursday) with my 10 year old son had long since become a pastime in my house. A few days ago, after seeing an advertisement for a special on the NFL, he literally said to me, “Dad, we can’t watch after what they’ve done to Colin and with all of those owners loving Donald Trump so much.”

I agree, son. We can’t. We won’t. This league does not value us. It hires hundreds of black men to play on the field until their brains and bodies break, but refuses to give those same men space to be fully human and stand boldly against injustice.

Maybe if Colin Kaepernick gets a deal, it would change my mind, but deep damage is already done. As a leader in the Black Lives Matter Movement, as a voice in the resistance to Donald Trump, and as a friend of Colin Kaepernick, I cannot, in good conscience, support the NFL any longer. If I did, I’d struggle to look my own son in the eyes or look at myself in the mirror afterwards.

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21 thoughts on “Shaun King: Why I Won’t Be Watching The NFL This Year

  1. Francoamericano on said:

    Will not watch NFL because of disrespect from 49ers. A bunch of overgrown boys playing with a ball and clearly being way over paid. It’s a freaking ball! What gives them the right to step all over the flag? Move to Africa or middle east and then see how much you hate America.

  2. john howard on said:


  3. I will not watch the NFL this year because of the players protesting for BLM and not standing for the national anthem. That is disrespectful to all Americans regardless of race. These worthless athletes don’t realize that there are black police officers and military members. I choose to judge people by their actions and not by their political party affiliation or race. I am a true American.

    • Larry Armstrong on said:

      You do know by your own stement that you are judgemental. Your first statement is flawed. Take down your bogus statement. You are judging BLM.

  4. Monica Evans on said:

    I like the game, but I with you I am ready to give up football. Thanks for the word because I hear you.

  5. hoodtechie on said:

    good,you don’t look like you known much about football or any other sport look like one of those soft ass brothers who were afraid to get his knees scraped up or knocked to the would be more comfortable watching real housewives of atlanta or rue pauls drag queen show.

  6. Kaci on said:

    This will do nothing. The percentage of blacks going to games and if they stop will not affect this. Whites will be proud to not have blacks at the games. Unless, the players take a stand. Also stop buying NFL merchandise and watching the games at home. This is all about money. Black people, chose properly how to spend yours.

    • Larry Armstrong on said:

      Your statement is very flawed. If whites be glad Blacks are not there… who going be playing the game. It is evident that whites will be an inferior product.

  7. jhuf on said:

    It’s like you liberal minions like to say “he has a 1st amn. right to his opinion and voice his positions, that doesn’t mean he is entitled to have said positions overlooked by his employers especially if it taints the NFL or team image he’s not the first prominent personality to make his bed and have to lay in it, I’m laughing at the hypocrisy
    When conservatives speak up and the call from the lefties to have them fired or band that’s OK as Rev. Wright once said in a sermon “the chickens have come home to roost”

  8. FallMornings on said:

    The actions of the owners have been going on long before Trump became President. Where were your concerns, Shaun, all the other years when spousal and abuse of players girlfriends were going on? You seem to pick and choose when you want to make a statement. Don’t know about anyone else, I will watch and cheer for the team I like. No one else’s business.

    • jhuf on said:

      Lets go a step further than that ALL AA’s who have jobs and services relating to the NFL quit or discontinue #unemployment /welfare

  9. americanize on said:

    Wow lets do it hope the idea catches on.Us smart people know colin is being made an example to all black athelets you have no rights.You take a stand I cut of ur money.

  10. NFL team owners are more concerned with making $$$$ than changing the image of the organization.

    It would rather have players who after a game loss, go home and physically brutalize their wive’s or girlfriends. They know that the NFL commissioner will simply turn a blind eye to
    this and that no repercussions will result.

    However, when you have a talented QB such as Colin-he will be left on the sidelines this season due to his militant stance for RACIAL JUSTICE/HUMANITY.

    NFL stands for NOT FOR LONG-once a player of color dares to express their voice!!!!!

    • jhuf on said:

      So if CK is really that good then those greedy owners would put principal over profit? what are you and Shaun King smoking?

      • Keith Blount on said:

        White supremacy is a delusional, psychotic, narcissists perspective of the world which sense the election of the dumb one has invoked a racial divide not seen since the 70’s. You hate Shaun King’s stance and everything else he stands for because he’s a threat to your pseudo supremacy. Read the bible and cringe. You’re not who you think you are nor is the so-called African-American. Read the book of Obadiah and try not to reject the knowledge Hop-sing. This is the prophetic word in one book, one chapter, and your downfall. If you could discern the times and what is happening you might keep your mouth shut. Go and reference the book of Esther and study on the feast day of Purim and how it will affect this nation, this planet, and change your livelihood. God bless Amerikkka.

      • jhuff on said:

        KB: when you smoke more those blunts and strap that bomb to your chest what mall are you going to??

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