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.”


Dakar Rally stars gear up for ‘thrilling’ Saudi race challenge

The first stage of Rally Qassim began in Umm Sidra covering a distance of 170km. Several drivers are keen to test before the Dakar Rally crosses the country for the first time in January 2020. (SPA)
Updated 19 October 2019

Dakar Rally stars gear up for ‘thrilling’ Saudi race challenge

  • French driver Stéphane Peterhansel, a 13-time winner of the Dakar Rally, revealed that he was initially surprised to hear that the competition had been moved from Africa to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Dakar Rally drivers are gearing up for a “thrilling and exciting” challenge when the world-famous desert race is staged in Saudi Arabia for the first time next year.
The Kingdom will host the event from Jan. 5 to 17, 2020 with top racers from around the globe traveling thousands of kilometers through inhospitable terrain in cars, trucks and on quad bikes and motorcycles.
The rally will begin in Jeddah and follow a tough route through desert, sand dunes and mountainous areas taking in NEOM, the Red Sea Project, Riyadh and Qiddiya.
French driver Stéphane Peterhansel, a 13-time winner of the Dakar Rally, revealed that he was initially surprised to hear that the competition had been moved from Africa to Saudi Arabia.
“However, after doing some research, I realized that Saudi Arabia was a very wonderful and suitable country for the rally. It has different terrain types, and I expect us to have a perfect track. The vast desert gives me hope that the 2020 Saudi Dakar Rally will be more thrilling and exciting than Africa,” he said.
Five-time Dakar Rally winner and fellow French driver, Cyril Despres, said that racing in Saudi Arabia would be a new adventure that could only be experienced by those who lived up to its challenges.
“When I heard that the Dakar Rally was moving for the first time to the Middle East, I remembered the words of its founder, Thierry Sabine, who said that if you liked exploring the African continent, you would also love exploring other parts of the world,” he added.

Positive move
British rally raid motorcycle rider, Sam Sunderland, who won his category in the 2017 Dakar Rally, said he was delighted to be participating in the Saudi race. “I believe that this change is good, as I have lived in Dubai for 10 years, having adapted well to the Middle East’s atmosphere.

When I heard that the Dakar Rally was moving for the first time to the Middle East, I remembered the words of its founder, Thierry Sabine, who said that if you liked exploring the African Continent, you would also love exploring other parts of the world.

Cyril Despres, French driver

“Exploring a new area is a positive move for the Dakar Rally, and I am certain that everyone who practices this sport is excited to explore a new ground for racing,” Sunderland added.
ED Racing Team driver, Issa Al-Dossari, said the main reason he had taken part in Rally Qassim was to prepare for the Dakar challenge.
“We will be using two cars in the rally. We look forward to raising the level of preparedness for many coming global events. But this does not mean that we will not compete for the top places.”
Al-Dossari invited sports fans to visit the team’s headquarters at Date City to see equipment and meet its members.
The team must participate in two different cars, the first driven by Al-Dossari with his French navigator Sébastien Delaunay, and the second with Emirati Abdallah Al-Huraiz behind the wheel and Ali Hassan navigating.
The first stage of Rally Qassim began on Friday in Umm Sidra covering a distance of 170 km, with stage two raced over 200 km.
Meanwhile, entry registrations for the Dakar Rally are still open in all categories at https://www.dakar.com/en/the-competitors/register.