- The Washington Times - Monday, March 20, 2017

Hollywood director Spike Lee claims there are “shenanigans” afoot regarding the free agency of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Teams around the NFL apparently haven’t been eager to call Mr. Kaepernick since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers on March 3. The franchise lost 14 games during the 2016 season and 11 games in 2015.

Still, Mr. Lee, an activist and avid sports fan, says something is “mad fishy” about the professional silence, given the quarterback’s controversial decision not to stand for the national anthem before games.

“Just Had Brunch With My Brother Colin @Kaepernick7,” the director wrote on Instagram Sunday. “How Is It That There Are 32 NFL Teams And Kap Is Still A Free Agent? WTF. Smells MAD Fishy To Me,Stinks To The High Heavens. … The Question Remains What Owner And GM Is Going To Step Up And Sign Colin So Their Team Has A Better Chance To WIN? What Crime Has Colin Committed? Look At The QB’s Of All 32 Teams. This Is Some Straight Up Shenanigans,Subterfuge, Skullduggery And BS. Ya-Dig? Sho-Nuff. By Any Means Necessary. And Dat’s Da NoFunLeague Truth,Ruth.”

Mr. Kaepernick, 29, has said since going on a job hunt that he plans to stand for the national anthem if he gains employment in 2017.

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith sounded off Monday on the “shenanigans” charge by noting the athlete’s dismal on-field performance.

“He’s 3-16 in the last two years as a starting quarterback — 2-6 in 2015 and 1-10 last year,” Mr. Smith said. “He was 8-8 in his last year with Jim Harbaugh, which means that the last three years he has been mediocre, to bad, to even worse than bad. … You knew that you were going to alienate at least half of our society by [not standing]. You accepted it. I respect that. I don’t respect how he then piggybacked off of that and announced to the world that, ‘I don’t vote.’”

Mr. Smith concluded that teams must now ask if the quarterback’s lackluster performance, coupled with his polarizing activism, outweighs “the distraction” that he brings to an organization.

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