In a not so ironic twist, a guy not on any NFL roster was named the MVP of the first week of the football season by the NFL's Players Association. If you had no idea the NFLPA awards weekly MVPs, let alone to guys who aren't currently playing in the league, you're in prime company. It may have simply flown under the radar, or, it was invented quickly this season as a way to blatantly and publicly fawn over Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick is fast approaching the Down Syndrome girl at high school everybody gets behind to vote as Homecoming Queen. Who's against the goodhearted Down girl? Nobody out in the open. The NFL is 70-percent black. At some point you need to blend into the dominant culture of your workplace. Saying aloud that men and women are biologically different gets you canned at Google. Saying you think Kaepernick created his own unemployment situation by turning his civil rights concerns into a huge embarrassment for his employer won't make you many friends in the locker room. So when interviewed by the press you say Kaepernick ought be playing somewhere or you agree that voting him Week One MVP makes sense in some way.
0-0 with no interceptions might be Kaepernick's best QBR in some time. But clearly MVP isn't an award that goes to a guy not even on a team. The NFLPA insisted the award was the "Community MVP" and Kaepernick was being highlighted for his charitable contributions to social justice organizations. Also, he handed out backpacks at a Girls Club in New York. He does have some free time. And he did earn twelve million last year holding the clipboard. Still, he gives more than most.
Kaepernick is an odd cause célèbre. He's earned $45 million in his few years in the league and this past year turned down an eight figure contract to become a free agent. He's not proven to be a top caliber QB, but somewhere in the middling ranks of QBs who do tend to get backup jobs in the NFL year after year. Brian Hoyer is the new 49ers QB and he's been dropped by five teams in five years. It's fair to say, Kaepernick isn't any worse.
Sports leagues, like the rest of capitalistic life, forgive the shit out of top performers. The drunk and sexually harassing top sales guy in the office gets a much longer leash than the guy struggling to make numbers who gets canned for taking occasional cigarette breaks. It's life. Kaepernick fucked himself over, and while he insists he's fine with the social principles over big paid gig deal, nobody around him seems so settled. There's always that Week One MVP trophy to snuggle up to at night. And hot model chicks. Still getting those. Poor fella.