By Ken Reed
Get this: The Buffalo Bills signed a quarterback this past weekend that hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL for six years! That’s right, the Bills have signed Joe Webb to be a backup quarterback. He last threw a pass in an NFL regular season game in 2011.
With that signing, we can officially put to rest any lingering claims like this: “Colin Kaepernick isn’t getting blackballed by the NFL, he’s just not good enough as a player.”
Kaepernick, a Super Bowl quarterback still in his physical prime at age 29, remains unemployed, while guys like Webb and Brock Osweiler (a quarterback cut by the woeful Cleveland Browns and resigned by the Denver Broncos) continue to get opportunities.
Clearly, Kaepernick is getting ostracized due to his politics and not his playing ability. Just look at the stats:
First, Kaepernick’s career interception percentage (1.8 percent) is second in NFL history to Aaron Rodgers. Don’t NFL coaches like quarterbacks who take care of the ball?
Kaepernick’s career-adjusted net yards per pass, which includes bonus points for throwing touchdowns while penalizing a player for interceptions and sacks, is better than Mike Glennon, Blaine Gabbert, and Matt Barkley, all marginal quarterbacks signed during the offseason.
In a statistical analysis done in May, Kaepernick’s Total Quarterback Rating (Total QBR) was higher than 18 NFL backup quarterbacks.
In terms of just 2016 Total QBR, Kaepernick’s rating was higher than 2016 NFL starters Ryan Tannehill, Cam Newton, Carson Wentz, Eli Manning, Blake Bortles, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Case Keenum.
Kaepernick is out of the league for exercising his First Amendment rights and his public stance against police brutality during the national anthem. Never mind that he has a clean legal background. Or that he has given $800,000 to community charitable causes. (He has pledged $1 million in this effort.)
Meanwhile, NFL teams continue to sign players with ugly legal backgrounds. At least five teams picked players with histories of legal problems in the last NFL draft. That includes the Cincinnati Bengals drafting running back Joe Mixon, who punched a woman and broke bones in her face in 2014.
The NFL’s moral compass is clearly broken and needs to go into the repair shop.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
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Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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