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This sounds familiar.
Colin Kaepernick was in talks with a second-rate football league to play quarterback until his demand of $20 million stalled discussions.
Sporting News reported Monday that Kaepernick talked with the XFL last fall about joining the Vince McMahon-run league set to debut in February 2020.
The report comes weeks after news broke that talks broke down between Kaepernick and the AAF over a similar $20 million demand.
Kaepernick reportedly turned down another offer
Monday’s report cites an XFL source, with Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos not returning a request for comment.
While it’s not surprising that Kaepernick would maintain a firm line on his value with both the XFL and AAF, it is a bit of a surprise that the XFL would even consider Kaepernick.
The previous incarnation of the XFL was billed as an irreverent alternative to the NFL during its only season in 2001.
XFL promised to avoid politics
The new version promises to be staid and conservative behind a Donald Trump-supporting McMahon, who vowed upon the league’s announcement to avoid politics and controversy, especially when it comes to social injustice and racial inequity protests during the national anthem.
"Let me say as far as our league is concerned it will have nothing to do with politics, and nothing to do with social issues either,” McMahon said in 2018. “We're there to play football. We want really good football, and that's what the fans want too.
"When they tune in I don't know if they want to be dealing with social issues and things of that nature. And that's what we're going to deliver."
McMahon also hinted at a rule enforcing that players stand for the anthem.
“As far as the national anthem is concerned, I think this: the national anthem is a time-honored tradition that is played to this day and many years in the past in our country,” McMahon said. “Whatever our rules are are what our players will abide by."
Why would XFL want Kaepernick?
None of that jibes with signing Kaepernick, the face of social injustice protests in the NFL. Kaepernick recently settled a collusion grievance with the league after not playing the last two seasons despite being a capable NFL starting quarterback in a league struggling to find signal-callers.
Joining sides with a league whose founder has parroted Trump’s position that players not be allowed to kneel doesn’t add up.
Of course if Kaepernick asked for $20 million to consider playing for the league, he was likely fully aware that the salary demand was a non-starter. The XFL is looking to pay quarterbacks around $250,000 per season, according to Sporting News.
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