Football teams make their decisions on who to select for the team based on one criteria: Winning football games.
That’s what the NFL commissioner said and it makes sense. You don’t win football teams with the prettiest players, or even the fastest ones. It’s a combination of factors that leads to one end: Winning games.
Unless you’re Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. When Bisciotti added controversial leftist Colin Kaepernick to his team, he basically admitted that he was considering “non-football” factors in his decision. Namely: That people hate him.
The question came up on Sunday at a fan forum. Someone asked the team leadership if they were concerned that adding the now-infamous quarterback to the lineup. Wouldn’t it hurt the team’s “brand,” they asked?
“We’ve very sensitive to it and we’re monitoring it, and we’re still, as [General Manager] Ozzie [Newsome] said, scrimmaging it,” Bisciotti said, via the team’s official website. “So pray for us.”
Bisciotti chimed in and addressed the elephant in the room: Wouldn’t a football player who protested the national anthem (and did so much more) cause just a teensy bit of controversy? I mean … the fans hate him and he’s hurting the brand, right?
“Quantify hurting the brand,” Bisciotti said, ProFootballTalk reports. “I know that we’re going to upset some people, and I know that we’re going to make people happy that we stood up for somebody that has the right to do what he did. Non-violent protesting is something that we have all embraced. I don’t like the way he did it. Personally, I kind of liked it a lot when he went from sitting to kneeling. I don’t know, I’m Catholic, we spend a lot of time kneeling.”
All of this flies in the face of what NFL Commissioner – who was in the room – said teams must only consider football impact when deciding whether or not to sign players.
“[A]ll [teams] want to get better,” Goodell said last month. “And if they see an opportunity to get better as a football team, they’re going to do it. They’re going to do whatever it takes to make their football team better. So those are football decisions. They’re made all the time. I believe that if a football team feels that Colin Kaepernick, or any other player, is going to improve that team, they’re going to do it.”
However this is resolved, as Mike Florio opined, “it’s now abundantly clear that Kaepernick is unemployed in part for reasons unrelated to football. We hope the many fans and media members who insist otherwise will abandon the notion that Kaepernick isn’t on a team because he stinks.”