Washington Redskins rule out making a move for Colin Kaepernick despite injury crisis

Colin Kaepernick is still out in the cold and claims he is being punished by the NFL for his “take a knee” protests. (AFP)
Updated 05 December 2018

Washington Redskins rule out making a move for Colin Kaepernick despite injury crisis

  • Former 49ers quarterback has not played in the NFL since he began to raise awareness over racial injustice.
  • Redskins' twofers-choice quarterbacks out for the rest of the season.

WASHINGTON DC: Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden ruled out making a move for Colin Kaepernick as the team grappled with an injury crisis that has left their two first-choice quarterbacks out for the season.
Kaepernick, who has been unemployed since being released by the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, claims he is being punished by the NFL for his “take a knee” protests during the national anthem to raise awareness over racial injustice.
The 31-year-old has said he hopes to return to the NFL despite being repeatedly overlooked by teams.
Kaepernick was linked to the Redskins after a season-ending injury to quarterback Colt McCoy during Washington’s defeat by Philadelphia.
The Redskins had already lost starter Alex Smith with a season-ending injury, and finished the game against the Eagles with journeyman signal-caller Mark Sanchez at quarterback.
Gruden said Tuesday that while Kaepernick’s availability had been discussed by team officials, no move would be made for him.
“He’s been discussed for sure,” Gruden said. “It’s just going to be a matter of which way you want to go.”
Gruden said the team questioned whether Kaepernick would have enough time to learn a “whole new offense.”
“There’s not a lot of time to get a brand-new quarterback and system installed in a couple of days,” Gruden said. “He’s been talked about, but we’ll probably go in a different direction.”
Gruden insisted it was purely a sporting decision, and not a reflection on Kaepernick’s social activism.
“Just football, strictly football,” Gruden said. “When you’re talking about a backup quarterback this late in the game, you want someone with a similar skillset to the quarterback you have.
“Not that Colin can’t do some of the things we’ve talked about, but we want someone with a little more familiarity.”
Gruden’s explanation was greeted with skepticism by Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos however.
“Isn’t it obvious what’s happening?” Geragos told the Washington Post.
Richard Sherman, cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers, was similarly critical, telling NBC’s PFTPM podcast he believed Kaepernick was being ostracized.
“I think it’s one of those situations where, it’s disappointing, but that’s exactly the case, you know, because there’s nothing legally stopping the teams from doing it,” Sherman said.
“There’s not enough public pressure, nothing that’s going to force a team to sign him, you know?“
Sherman said Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the brink of a Super Bowl victory in 2013 only to suffer a 34-31 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens, was more deserving of an NFL roster spot than McCoy or Sanchez.
“They’ve had up and down years and Colin has played at a higher level than I would say any of those guys ever performed at the peak of their careers,” Sherman said.
“You start to see stuff like that and it’s almost like teams are purposefully making it obvious that, like, they’re keeping him out.”

Spain considers playing Super Cup in Saudi Arabia

Updated 9 min 15 sec ago

Spain considers playing Super Cup in Saudi Arabia

  • Proposal will be made at the federation’s general assembly next week

MADRID: The Spanish soccer federation is looking into the possibility of playing the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia beginning next year.

Federation President Luis Rubiales said Wednesday playing in the Middle East is one of the options being considered for the tournament, as well as a “final four” format with the top finishers in the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey.

The competition has been played in a one-game final between the champions at the beginning of the season. The idea is to play the new Super Cup in January.

The proposal will be made during the federation’s general assembly next week.

Rubiales did not confirm reports the deal will be worth €30 million ($33 million) a year for six seasons, saying “it will be difficult” to reach that value.

The federation president, one of the main critics of the Spanish league’s idea to play a regular-season match in the US, said the decision would take into consideration the players’ health, noting that playing in Saudi Arabia would not affect them as much as if the game was played in the US or Asia, where travel time and time differences were greater. Last year’s final, won by Barcelona against Sevilla, was played in Tangier, Morocco.

This year’s Italian Super Cup was played in Saudi Arabia as part of a multi-year deal worth more than €20 million ($22 million).  The Spanish players’ association, which complained about the Spanish league’s attempt to play in the US, did not oppose the idea of playing in Saudi Arabia.

“We weren’t against playing in the United States, what we wanted at the time was to be consulted about the idea and to give our opinion,” association president David Aganzo said Wednesday at an event organized by Europa Press. “If the proposal for the Super Cup is good for the players, we won’t have a problem with it.”

The Spanish league had to scrap the game in Florida after Barcelona, which would have faced Girona, backed down because of the lack of consensus among the parties involved. The league said it will try playing abroad again next season.

There is also a plan by the federation to reduce the number of games in the Copa del Rey to help clear up the calendar and keep teams from playing too many matches. The competition would include single elimination matches in some rounds, instead of a two-leg series. The proposal is also expected to be presented in next week’s general assembly.

“The clubs and the players want less official matches in the calendar,” Rubiales said.