- - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Redskins team president and Prince of Darkness Bruce Allen has reportedly drawn a line in the sand when it comes to the chances of signing Colin Kaepernick to solve the team’s desperate quarterback woes, now down two quarterbacks.

Allen has made it clear, according to Pro Football Talk, that the Redskins will never sign Kaepernick, the former Super Bowl quarterback who has been out of the league since he began his protest of racial injustice in the U.S. by national kneeling during the anthem in 2016 — his last year with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Redskins need help at quarterback after losing both starter Alex Smith and now backup Colt McCoy for the season — but it won’t be Kaepernick, says Allen.

That makes sense, on some business levels. Allen’s boss, owner Dan Snyder, made it clear he believes the franchise would lose fan support for bringing in the face of the anthem protests. He cited the team’s backing among military and defense contractors, according to ESPN reports on owners meetings at the height of the anthem protests controversy in November 2017.

No matter how you feel about Kaepernick, every poll has shown that the league has suffered some damage in fan support because of the anthem protests.

A May 2018 Washington Post poll showed that 53 percent of Americans believe it’s never appropriate to kneel during the national anthem.

So, there is a business cost to consider for the team that would sign Kaepernick, who is suing the NFL for collusion, claiming he has been banned from the league for his political protests.

On the other hand, how much more damaged could this Redskins fan base be than it is now?

Ghost Town Stadium could have a record number of empty seats Sunday when the 4-8 New York Giants come to face the 6-6 Redskins.

And the Redskins — perhaps the most tone-deaf organization in the Western Hemisphere — opened themselves up for accusations of hypocrisy by claiming accused woman-beater Reuben Foster, just days after he was in a Tampa jail for his third arrest in 12 months.

That was a bad business decision that may keep casual fans away — the ones they need to fill up Ghost Town Stadium.

Now, moving forward with a third-string quarterback in Mark Sanchez, and looking for another backup, the cry went out minutes after McCoy left the game late in the first quarter for the Redskins to bring in Kaepernick.

But what if Kaepernick has drawn a line in the sand?

How could a social justice warrior like Kaepernick play for the franchise that most, if not all, of his supporters, likely believe is a racist organization with a racial slur for a name?

How could Kaepernick, after his Nike campaign — “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” — turn around and compromise that marketing campaign by playing for the hated Washington Redskins?

How could Kaepernick look the native Americans in the eye that he joined on Alcatraz island in November 2017 as part of protest representing the “genocide” they say represents Thanksgiving Day.

Kaepernick received two eagle feathers from a Native American elder at the protest. What’s he going to do, stick them in his Redskins helmet?

“Our fight is the same fight,” Kaepernick said. “We’re all fighting for our justice. And realizing that we’re in this fight together makes us all the more powerful.”

This guy is going to play for the Washington Redskins?

And, somehow, if he is so desperate to play that he seemingly betrays everything he claimed to stand for and would be willing to wear the Redskins uniform and play for the team that some believe (not 9 out of 10 Native Americans, apparently, based on the most recent Washington Post poll) has a racist team name, do we really believe that Kaepernick’s followers will then become Redskins fans to back their hero?

Do we believe that those pushing the petition asking Maroon 5 not to play in the Super Bowl halftime show to support Kaepernick would then turn around and start a petition asking people to support the Washington Redskins because they were the only team willing to sign their hero?

The dueling outrages make for complicated decisions — lines in the sand everywhere. What the Redskins need, though, is a shovel as they disappear from view, buried in the sand.

• Hear Thom Loverro on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings and on the Kevin Sheehan Show podcast every Tuesday and Thursday.


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