Hank Aaron Says Colin Kaepernick Is 'Getting a Raw Deal' from NFL Teams

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2017

Former Atlanta Braves' Hank Aaron is honored during a ceremony before a baseball game between the Braves and the San Diego Padres in Atlanta, Friday, April 14, 2017. The Braves are playing their first regular-season game in SunTrust Park, the new suburban stadium that replaced Turner Field. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron said the NFL is giving Colin Kaepernick a "raw deal" and believes a team should sign him.  

"[Kaepernick] has gone to all these camps, I suppose, and nobody seems to think he stands a chance to be a No. 1 [quarterback]," Aaron told AllThatTV's Roland S. Martin in an interview (h/t ESPN.com). "Here's a man, a young player, that almost carried a team to a championship, to a Super Bowl. I think somebody needs to give this man a chance."

Kaepernick, 29, remains a free agent heading into the third week of the preseason, and many believe that's due to his national anthem protest in 2016. The former San Francisco 49er sat or knelt during the national anthem during last season as a protest against police brutality and social injustice.

The Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks were among the teams to consider bringing in Kaepernick. Both have passed in favor of adding quarterbacks with far inferior resumes. 

"As far as his prospects as a backup, I don't think he is being blackballed in terms of rich white owners saying, 'We are not hiring this guy,'" an anonymous defensive coordinator told Mike Sando of ESPN.com. "I think coaches are like, 'Look, if this kid is not starting for us, why are you bringing in distractions not for a starter? We have a pretty good sort of locker room and mesh here. What is the risk-reward?' I don't think anyone is to the point of making him the starter, and that is the bubble he is getting caught in."

Kaepernick has continued championing causes in the community this offseason, recently donating $100,000 to various charities. Despite not making many public comments about football, those who have met with Kaepernick said he has a desire to continue his NFL career. 

Aaron, formerly baseball's home run king, has a plethora of experience dealing with racial discrimination. He famously faced death threats when chasing the home run record set by Babe Ruth, in large part because he was a black man breaking a record set by a white man.

The NAACP also expressed its dismay at Kaepernick remaining unsigned Wednesday and has requested a meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell.

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