“I am not a football expert,” Kshama Sawant says in one of the strangest press releases we’ve received in some time, “but everything I have read strongly suggests that the only reason a player with [Colin] Kaepernick’s skills is still a free agent is because of the backlash against his courageous leadership last year against racism, brutality, and discrimination.”
Therefore, Sawant says, the Seahawks should sign him.
Writing on City of Seattle stationary, the socialist councilmember penned a letter to Seahawks owner Paul Allen and head coach Pete Carroll, asking them to make Kaepernick the Hawks’ backup quarterback next year.
Kaepernick opted-out of the final year of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers at the end of last season after a roller coaster tenure with the Seahawks’ chief rival. He was arguably the most despised athlete in Seattle for a few seasons, as the Hawks battled for control of the NFC West against the Niners and their cocky and talented, though not always very good, QB. But last year, Kaepernick became an unexpected icon of the Black Lives Matter movement when he began kneeling during the national anthem before games, protesting of the police killings of unarmed black people. While his popularity soured with some, his jersey sold like hotcakes (though not in Seattle).
Since leaving the Niners, he has failed to find another job in the NFL, and many have shared Sawant’s impression that his activism has made him a target of retaliation by NFL owners. Spike Lee called it “mad fishy.” Others have argued that Kaepernick has lost his edge and is no longer attractive to teams. The idea of the Hawks picking up Kaepernick has been encouraged by outspoken Seahawk Michael Bennett and pretty well received in Seattle media (though not everyone is on board).
Sawant doesn’t go into his arm strength or speed, though. She just thinks he would advance the cause of the worker.
“From the fight for a $15/hour minimum wage, to the struggle for affordable housing, to the movement against police brutality, Seattle’s working people and young people have led the nation in this new era of social movements. I agree wholeheartedly with Michael Bennett that Seattle is the perfect place for Kaepernick. The NFL has an influence on the ideas and attitudes of young people. As you assemble your team, it would be a poor message for you to send to young people that speaking out against racism, police violence, and economic inequality is ‘toxic’ and will be punished rather than applauded.
“The working people of Seattle and our youth will be proud to welcome Colin Kaepernick.”
Sounds like expert advice to us!