BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have both spoken publicly in recent weeks to support free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick. But Wizards guard John Wall apparently believes it wasn’t enough.
Wall has expressed strong feelings that more players should make a stand for Kaepernick, whose continued unemployment has sparked questions of whether he’s being blackballed over controversy stemming from his national anthem protests. Speaking in a new interview with CSNMA (via Sports Illustrated), Wall implied that because Brady and Rodgers are white quarterbacks who represent the NFL more than most, their public stances should be stronger than they have been.
“Until the guys that are the face of the [NFL] – African-American guys come from college and they’re great quarterbacks. You get to the NFL, what do they try to do? Change our position. Why? Because franchise guys are quarterbacks,” said Wall. “So you have guys like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers – love those guys, very talented. Until those guys come out and speak, I don’t think the NFL is going to make any adjustments.”
He continued, comparing the Kaepernick controversy to that of former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was removed after he made racist remarks that went public.
“Remember when we were dealing with our stuff, with Donald Sterling and all that type of things, it was like, ‘Well if LeBron and those guys don’t come out, if Kobe don’t come out and say nothing, it’s never going to be a stand taken.’ When those guys came out and started talking, what happened? [Sterling’s] fired. The stand stood. Until those guys in the NFL come up and stand up for Kaepernick and stand for those guys … you’ve got to go out there and express your feelings. Until they do that, I don’t think anything’s going to change.”
Brady recently spoke about Kaepernick in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning. While he didn’t specifically address Kaepernick’s off-field controversies, he supported his abilities as a quarterback and believes he deserves another chance to play in the NFL.
“I sure hope so,” Brady said. “I’ve always watched him and admired him, the way that he’s played. He was a great young quarterback. He came to our stadium and beat us and took his team to the Super Bowl in 2012. … He accomplished a lot in the pros as a player and he’s certainly qualified. I hope he gets a shot.”
Rodgers spoke more directly about Kaepernick’s situation in a recent interview with ESPN, acknowledging that he believes the former 49ers QB should be on an NFL roster and his protests are the reason that he’s not. Rodgers also admitted that he could never fully grasp what his African-American teammates go through with the very issues they are protesting.
“I think the best way I can say this is: I don’t understand what it’s like to be in that situation,” said Rodgers. “What it is to be pulled over, or profiled, or any number of issues that have happened, that Colin was referencing – or any of my teammates have talked to me about. … But I know it’s a real thing my black teammates have to deal with.”
Rodgers also said he supports his teammates’ right to protest. Both quarterbacks supported their teammates and fellow NFL players last weekend in the wake of President Donald Trump’s incendiary comments against the league.
It’s unclear what exactly Wall wants Brady or Rodgers to do. But he obviously believes that the two could be saying more about Kaepernick and the national anthem protests than they have.