Would a Bob McNair/Colin Kaepernick marriage be good for everyone?
News of Deshaun Watson’s torn ACL has put a damper on the Houston Texan’s season. His star was shining bright. He made the team appointment television. The franchise finally had its long-awaited quarterback of the future. Alas, this is Houston. And there’s always the plot twist that feels more like a kick in the groin.
Not more than an hour or so after the news broke, did the rumor mill of Bob McNair OK'ing of a Colin Kaepernick a workout. This also comes on the heels of McNair’s "inmates" comments last week. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful story, or just another pump fake of Kaepernick getting a shot to play again?
The main reason this is a bad idea is because it will seem like McNair is using a form of appeasement or affirmative action. Let’s call a spade a spade here. It will look like a rich white guy is using the plight of a perceived militant black guy to get him off the hook with his players and portions of the team’s fanbase who were highly upset about his choice of words and subsequent apology. I want to believe this signing off of a workout is genuine, but the timing of the comments, apology, injury, and Kaepernick’s availability is very convenient for McNair’s benefit. As far as the football side, the team most likely isn’t going anywhere, so why bother? They don’t have a first or second rounder. The offensive line is horrid. And Kaep isn’t a more superior decision-maker or more accurate passer than Watson to say he’d make a difference. People will soon realize (if most haven’t already) that this was a way to clean up McNair’s standing with those that were offended by his comments. It’ll be his “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. Fans will reject the idea of the face of the NFL anthem protests is now wearing their team’s jersey and playing the most important position. The money the team would lose because of counter-protests to the signing could be substantial. Should McNair decide the scrutiny and monetary losses too much and eject on the idea after approving it, it’ll get worse by making him appear to bow to the pressure.
However, there’s always a flipside to this story. What if McNair genuinely signed off on this idea and wants to use it to aid race relations? What if he actually wants to sit down with Kaepernick and truly open dialogue between two polar opposites to help heal the wounds caused by the continual fallout to anthem protests and the police brutality which originally spurred them into existence in the first place? On the football side of things, Kaep’s abilities are similar to Watson’s. Bill O’Brien has adapted his play calling to fit Watson’s skill set and could possibly do the same for Kaep. With the offensive line being as bad as it is, they need a mobile quarterback to continue to take pressure off of them. And let’s say McNair is down to take the heat in the name of race relations. This could reverberate throughout society by him being a billionaire white man talking to his much younger black quarterback fighting for racial equality about how to help mend some fences that most deem irreparable. Imagine the conversations that could take place as a result of this highly unlikely union? This would be akin to a Hatsfield and a McCoy collaborating on a book on neighborly conduct.
Whether or not this comes to fruition, I only hope it will be done out of mutual respect and a combined effort to help not only race relations, but a franchise’s hope for a successful season, as well as the reputations of two men on opposing sides some hot button issues. These issues have caused enough divisiveness in this country. It’s time to truly attempt to put them to rest. Will Bob McNair and Colin Kaepernick be Jerry Maguire and Rod Tidwell in changing the course of an out of control ship by taking a leap of faith with each other? Or will they be the Caesar and Colonel, doomed to fight until the end of the other’s kind?