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Sports analysists, talk show hosts, and NFL fans everywhere have been talking nonstop this summer about Colin Kaepernick.  Why, many are asking, has no team decided to hire  him this off-season?

Various analysts and fans have views that range from “It’s pure racism” to “It’s politics:  He refused to stand for the National Anthem” to “He just isn’t good enough any more” and “No team wants all the baggage that comes with him.”

Yesterday, Michael Vick, no stranger to controversy and at one time a very talented NFL quarterback, gave Mr. Kaepernick a piece of advice:  Cut your hair and “try to be more presentable.”  That set off waves of discussion on social media.  A lot of folks have decided that anyone who points to Mr. Kaepernick’s hair or tattoos is judging a book by its cover.  I agree that it is judging Mr. Kaepernick at least partially by his hair and his tattoos.  I also think that is a very valid thing upon which to judge him.

Hair and tattoos are personal choices.  The person with the Afro or Dreadlocks or beard to his waist is choosing that fashion.  No person I know has ever been forced to wear his hair in an Afro or in Dreadlocks or braids.  A beard to your waist is a fashion statement, pure and simple, a personal choice.

Colin Kaepernick wants people to look at him.  His actions and his fashion statements are his own choices and all point to a person who is very interested in being seen and talked about.

 

My guess is that most of his potential employers (NFL Team Owners) think that the choices he is making show a greater interest in his ego than in his preparation for the business of football.  They likely think his choices show poor judgment.  The last thing they want is the Quarterback of their team to be a person who has poor judgment.  None of the owners appear to want to have, as the face of their franchise, what Mr. Kaepernick is offering.  Do you blame them?  Many do, but, for me, in six years he has gone from a promising physical talent to dubious talent with an ego too big even for professional football.

I think anyone who feels sorry for Colin Kaepernick because he is still unemployed should know that Mr. Kaepernick has only himself to blame.  If you showed up at a job interview for a position as Diversity Manager for a large firm wearing a KKK robe or for a teaching position at a Catholic School wearing nothing but a string bikini, it would be your fault and nobody else’s if the person doing the interview first judged the book by its cover.  Fashion choices are just that: choices.  Though they may be the “cover” they do expose a lot about what’s inside.

 

 

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