The floodgates are open for NFL players to speak their minds.
With the nation reeling in the aftermath of George Floyd’s homicide while in police custody and Drew Brees telling Yahoo Finance on Wednesday he doesn’t want to see players kneeling in the fall, athletes are not holding back.
While most of Wednesday’s commentary from NFL players honed in on Brees’s stance, Hicks wanted to talk about Colin Kaepernick.
The Bears defensive tackle shared his thoughts on the exiled NFL quarterback with reporters. And he believes he has proof that NFL teams collaborated to keep him out of the league.
“We signed Mike Glennon,” Hicks said, per The Chicago Sun-Times’ Jason Lieser.
Leiser characterized the quip as a throwaway line at the end of a longer statement from Hicks on Kaepernick.
“All I will say is this. We saw it,” Hicks said. “We watched how it unfolded. And we see that he doesn’t have a job now.
“This call isn’t to advocate for Kaep getting a job, but he did sacrifice his position for where he is now. His career was ended because of it, in my opinion. We signed Mike Glennon.”
Glennon made way for Trubisky
Hicks is referring to 2017 when the Bears signed Glennon via free agency the same season they selected Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 pick in the draft. It was the same offseason Kaepernick became a free agent after six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers that included a trip to the Super Bowl.
It was also the same year the controversy around players kneeling during the national anthem reached a boiling point with President Donald Trump making his “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now” quip during an Alabama rally that September.
Three seasons went by without Kaepernick throwing another NFL pass. Former NFL executive Joe Lockhart has since admitted that teams declined to sign Kaepernick because the controversy was “bad for business.”
Glennon still in the league
Glennon, meanwhile, started four games in 2017 before making way for Trubisky. He completed 66.4 percent of his passes while averaging 208.3 yards per game, tallying four touchdowns and five interceptions.
He has since signed one-year backup deals with the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders and now the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Much has been written and opined on the multitude of quarterbacks deemed worse than Kaepernick to find employment in the league over the last three seasons. But most of that commentary has arrived via media.
Now a player is knocking a former teammate to make a point.
“I had the same thought that 85-90 percent of the league felt at that moment,” Hicks continued. “If I get down on one knee in front of this stadium, I am fired. My job, my life, my career is over. I will be blackballed.
“And then, to come out on the other end and watch it actually happen to Kaepernick just tells me that my feelings were real. It was the reality, and hopefully it won’t be going forward.”
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