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EDITORIAL: Broncos should not sign Kaepernick

By: The Gazette editorial board
August 6, 2017 Updated: August 6, 2017 at 12:36 pm
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As the Denver Broncos' two quarterbacks underwhelm in training camp, sports media stars have increased pressure on Executive Vice President John Elway and other team management to sign NFL reject Colin Kaepernick.

The Broncos should not, under any level of desperation, sign free agent Kaepernick.

If Kaepernick takes the field for the Broncos, fans will walk away. Some won't come back. We even predict an organized boycott, and that is a business issue our Bronco's front office needs to consider seriously.

Kaepernick is the spoiled brat best known for disrespecting the American flag by taking a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner." Craving even more attention, he showed up at the 49ers training camp wearing socks adorned with pigs in police uniforms.

A handful of activist sports writers take pleasure in lauding his "courage," even characterizing him as a patriot.

If disrespecting the flag is noble, we should teach children to thank veterans and law enforcement by burning flags in the street. Try as they may, politicized sports commentators cannot twist dishonor into honor.

Kaepernick has the legal right to disrespect the flag. In exercising this right, he disrespects all the flag stands for, including Americans who fought and died to establish and defend the country of opportunity that made him famous, rich, safe and free.

Kaepernick has no right to fan support, which is earned through good character on and off the field. He has no right to stake an offensive stance without enduring the consequence of public derision.

Sports commentators have compared Kaeprenick to another controversial player, former Denver Bronco's quarterback Tim Tebow. Like Kaepernick, Tebow gained acceptance and notoriety for taking a knee.

Just as Kaepernick knelt for the national anthem, Tebow knelt to thank "my lord and savior Jesus Christ" - win or lose.

The two expressions are not the same. Tebow knelt to honor that which is sacred to billions of humans around the globe. Fans respect athletes who honor Jesus, Muhammad or any other subject beyond themselves.

Fans take offense when a man of privilege, someone making more in a year than the average fan makes in a lifetime, takes a knee to disrespect that which symbolizes the country that made his fabled life possible.

At issue is character. People of high character give thanks, while those of low character find something to gripe about.

By disrespecting the flag and the national anthem, Kaepernick put anti-American activism ahead of his job. He made himself a distraction, a business liability and called into question his interest in playing football. NFL management has no obligation to tolerate it.

Questionable character is good enough reasons to reject signing Kaepernick. Additionally, the Broncos should consider what he might bring to the field.

"Years have passed since he was an effective quarterback," wrote ESPN Media Zone analyst Kevin Seifert. "He is 29 years old, has succeeded only in an unsustainable scheme and is part of a well-populated group of former starters who also remained available."

Seifert explains how Kaepernick's only real success came during San Francisco's read-option scheme from 2012-14.

"Even then, Kaepernick was one of the league's least-accurate quarterbacks," Seifert explains. "His 60.1 completion percentage ranked No. 23 in the NFL, and his percentage of off-target throws - judged on video by ESPN Stats & Information - ranked No. 18 (17.6 percent)."

Elway loves his country and gives thanks for all it has done for him. He and his coaching staff should not get confused in a rush to find a quarterback. Kaepernick is bad for business. He would come at a devastating cost for years to come.

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