San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is under a lot of scrutiny and pressure after sitting for the national anthem as part of a political statement. He has said he understands the possible ramifications. He has played long enough to be secure financially if this ends up negatively impacting his career.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres might share Kaepernick’s feelings on how black people are treated in the United States, and he said he wanted to join in the protest, but his agent talked him out of sitting down like Kaepernick.
Tavarres, who was undrafted out of Incarnate Word but most Eagles writers have said has a shot at the 53-man roster, initially said on Monday he’d join the protest and sit during the national anthem. He said he thought about doing it last week.
“Saturday’s game, I stepped back, I was in the background, and it didn’t feel right to me at all, and so I will be taking a stand — or sitting down — for the fourth game,” he said, according to ESPN.
Then his agent told him that wasn’t a good idea. Tavarres’ agent Corey Williams put out a statement saying Tavarres would be standing for the national anthem. When ESPN asked Williams if he advised Tavarres to change his mind, Williams said, “Yes, I did.”
It’s a reminder that Kaepernick is risking a lot with his stance. The NFL is a conservative league. Even though the 49ers and the NFL have said Kaepernick has the right to sit during the anthem, there has already been criticism from some players regarding his action. There are likely owners who don’t agree with Kaepernick either.
Jay Glazer said on Fox during halftime of Sunday’s Houston Texans-Arizona Cardinals game that Kaepernick could get cut by the 49ers, either before the regular season or during it. Although Glazer stressed that decision would have nothing to do with Kaepernick’s political stance, it’s worth wondering if the controversy has affected the 49ers’ thoughts on Kaepernick and they’d leak to a national reporter that they’d been thinking for a while about cutting him over football issues.
Kaepernick has made millions in his career already, and even if his stance ends up severely impacting his football career, he has financial security. Tavarres does not. It might not be fair that Tavarres can’t speak his mind on social issues if he wants, but his agent wasn’t wrong to advise him to stand like everyone else. Teams don’t want undrafted linebackers on the roster bubble to create waves.
We’ll see this week, and as the season goes on, if anyone joins Kaepernick in protesting during the national anthem. It’s fair to assume it wouldn’t be a positive for their NFL future, as Tavarres was quickly informed.
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