NFL turns it back, kicks Colin Kaepernick to the curb

The article can also be found on the Miscellany news!

Today, the NFL will induct college football’s brightest players into its fraternity, with the opening round of the 2017 draft. For San Francisco 49er fans, today might be the day they finally get their new quarterback.

But what ran the last guy out of San Francisco? Simply put, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick just took a knee.

It’s the story that the NFL wants the common fan to forget about. While known domestic abusers and players with rap sheets as long as paper towel rolls are consistently given second chances in the league, Kaepernick, the man who was brave enough to do what so many athletes won’t, is out of a job.

Kaepernick was virtually kicked out of the NFL following his national anthem racial injustice protests during the 2015-2016 season. The current blacklisting of Kaepernick has firmly cemented the NFL as the most conservative institution in all of professional sports.

And this conversation, that looked to be finally fading away off of the NFL’s long list of PR issues, has now been given new life. The free agent quarterback was recently named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2017, a strong accolade for an athlete who is unlikely to throw a pass in 2017.

Jim Harbaugh, who coached Kaepernick in San Francisco from 2011 to 2014 during a golden age for the Niners, wrote the article that appeared alongside the Milwaukee native in Time Magazine.

“At times in our nation’s history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust,” Harbaugh said on Kaepernicks’s protest. “Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or-most important-harming our own personal interests.”

Harbaugh was not alone in his not-so-subtle shots at the NFL for not embracing Kaepernick. Appearing on ESPN’s First Take last month, outspoken Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman asserted that Kaepernick was treated unfairly during free agency.

“Obviously he’s going to be in a backup role at this point. But you see quarterbacks, there was a year Matt Schaub had a pretty rough year and got signed the next year,” Sherman said. “So it has nothing to do with football. You can see that. They signed guys who have had off years before.”

It is true that Kaepernick has not been a particularly good quarterback for the last couple of years.

However, he is still a relatively young player who brought the 49ers to two NFC championships and a Super Bowl appearance. His unemployment status just does not add up.

Additionally, with such a dearth of versatile quarterbacks currently in the league, it is almost unfathomable how no team has given Kaepernick a workout or even a glance.

All this boils down to an unfortunate fact: the NFL’s brand and fan base are too deeply attached to overt displays of patriotism. Kaepernick thus becomes the ultimate poison.

Other pro leagues like the NBA have openly encouraged players to use their position as influential public figures to speak out on issues, especially those of racial inequality.

So here’s a message to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the 32 league owners. Don’t turn your back on your Black players.

Someone take a stand and give Kap a second chance under center. Your team can become a league pioneer for racial justice if you just let him take a knee on your sideline next season.

The article can also be found on the Miscellany news!

49ers Look to Escape Harbaugh’s Shadow with Lynch and Shanahan Hires

Photo via Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers played in three straight NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl appearance from 2011-2013.

After an 8-8 finish of the 2014 season, the 49ers owner Jed York and former general manager Trent Baalke pushed Jim Harbaugh out the door, thinking that the team could win without the fiery head coach.

Boy were they wrong.

Since 2014, the team has gone a cumulative 7-25 and has been in constant turmoil. After the “mutual parting ways” or so York said, the team has hired and fired two head coaches and had four tough retirements in Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Anthony Davis and Justin Smith. They also lost key offensive players to free agency in Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, and Mike Iupati.

In short summary, the team absolutely imploded after they pushed Harbaugh out the door.

And under Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly the team didn’t pick up any of the pieces. But that chapter is already over. Finished. Old news.

Now the next chapter opens.

Kyle Shanahan, the Offensive Coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons has helped the team have one of the best seasons in franchise history.


Presumed Future Coach of the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan

(John Bazemore/AP)

The scheme destined by the Shanahan has been unstoppable, especially in the playoffs. The Falcons are averaging 40 points per game in the playoffs, one reason the team looks up and finds themselves positioned to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

Shanahan offensive scheme has resulted in a season in which Matt Ryan threw for nearly 5,000 yards, completing 69.9 percent of his passes and throwing 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. The leader of the huddle has had an MVP-caliber season and it should be no surprise if he wins the MVP on February 4.

Despite his inconsistency over the last few years, Ryan has had an amazing season begging the question if the QB could regain the hype he had as a young player nicknamed “Matty Ice.”

The truth is he hasn’t had to be “Matty Ice” this year. Shanahan has created a prolific offense that has stifled some of the best defensive minds the NFL has to offer. While critics of Shanahan’s brilliance will say Ryan has one of the top three wideouts in the NFL in Julio Jones, the numbers show that Shanahan’s impact on the offense was much more than just Jones’ stellar play.

Ryan threw 13 touchdowns to different wide receivers this season, an NFL record.

Kyle Shanahan’s scheme made Falcons wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends better with Atlanta than ever before. Even the average players put together solid plays that consistently helped the team win games. Justin Hardy had four touchdowns, Taylor Gabriel six, Levine Toilolo with two and Austin Hooper with three touchdowns.

The 49ers organization and fans are hoping that he will be able to do the same thing to a 49ers offense that looked confused and hopeless in 2016 under quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick.

Shanahan will look to reestablish some of the traits that offensive guru Bill Walsh showed in his high-powered offense with Joe Montana from 1979-1988.

Kyle Shanahan will be a first-time head coach in the NFL and alongside him will be a first-time general manager in former FOX analyst John Lynch.


The Next 49ers GM, John Lynch (AP Photo/ Jack Dempsey)

Lynch who played under Kyle’s father Mike Shanahan reportedly called the younger Shanahan and volunteered to be the new GM.

Lynch takes over for Trent Baalke who angered fans greatly after being a part in pushing Harbaugh out the door, frequently drafting players recovering from serious injuries, and not using the team’s cap space toward effective free agent players.

Lynch’s hiring came out of left field as he wasn’t even in the GM rumors until the day he reportedly agreed to come to the organization.

The new general manager of the 49ers was a 9-time pro bowl safety. The 49ers gave up the most points in the NFL last season at 480 points and allowed the most yards per game at 406.4.

It seems that Lynch will try to rebuild a roster that doesn’t have an abundance of talent while focusing on the defensive side of the ball and let the new head coach look to create a new juggernaut on offense, this time in Santa Clara, California.

Both Lynch and Shanahan are expected to sign 6-year deals so they can be linked together.

Whatever happens in 2017 and beyond for the 49ers, the stage is set. Fans and entire league are waiting to see what the future holds for Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch as a head coach, general manager tandem in the NFL.