With the Colin Kaepernick news that broke over the weekend, it is a good time for NFL rookies to get their heads on right. The San Francisco quarterback is involved in a suspicious incident that entailed a woman being taken from his Miami apartment to the hospital. She had a rape test done on her, so the implication is obvious, although no charges have been filed. Kaepernick was with a couple of friends at the time of this incident.
I have no idea what the truth is in this case and apparently neither do the police, as they are still trying to figure out what exactly happened. I do think this incident can be a good example for the rookies who are about to be drafted in less than a month by NFL teams. They will get lectures from speakers that are paid to educate young athletes on the perils of having a big bank account after the draft. Many of these guys will nod their heads but not truly hear what they are being told. After all, these players are only three or four years removed from high school. Do you remember yourself at that age? You probably thought you knew it all and were invincible, just like most young people think. Now imagine that you just got a signing bonus of a few hundred thousand dollars, or just $80,000. Your arrogance about life would grow by about 500%. It would be hard for anyone to give you any advice, after all, you just got a big contract at the tender age of twenty two. You must have it all figured out already.
What are the lessons to be learned from Colin Kaepernick in this ordeal? Keep in mind, we have no idea who is guilty, who is lying, or who is covering up information. But the thing that incoming rookie NFLers need to remember is the cause of this trouble for Kaepernick. He was doing things that are not befitting a NFL QB. I won’t even go into the details of the alleged activities that night in Miami. The fact is that San Francisco, by making Kaepernick the starting QB, has also put him out as the face of the franchise. What he does, more than any other player on that team, reflects back on the 49ers. If he is running a great charity then San Fran gets some of that good will. If he conducts himself as a professional and is rumored to watch 50 hours of game film every week, then his team is seen as one that only signs hardworking, dedicated athletes. But when Kaepernick is caught up in any kind of scandal, that crap-storm comes back on the whole Niner organization.
All a player has to do is stay busy with positive activities and they will stay out of the bad spotlight that is looking for wayward athletes. NFL draftees should not do much hanging out with someone who is beneath them socially and financially, once they get on an NFL team. That sounds very heartless I understand. But it could save a rookie’s career eventually. Kaepernick is technically a CEO of a company. CEOs do not chill at their apartment with people who work in the mail room and smoke weed, allegedly. CEOs hang out with other CEOs. There is way less drama that way. Take note future draftees, avoid the drama.