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Will Kaepernick Overcome his Sportsbook Controversy?

Now that we’ve reached that point in the online NFL betting offseason where teams are allowed to begin talks with free agents, sportsbook headlines around the NFL should start heating up in the coming days. There’s an incredible amount of talent hitting the market this year and with teams already beginning to cut certain players, the amount of available talented players is only increasing – until teams are allowed to sign those players that is.

There are some extremely desirable players hitting the market this offseason; Eric Berry, Dont’A Hightower, Melvin Ingram, etc., but one particular player who should draw some media attention – both positive and negative – is Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers who ignited one of the most controversial player protests of our lifetime.

For those online NFL betting fans who somehow missed Kaepernick’s instigation of a nationwide protests (you’d literally have to live under a rock to have missed it), Kaepernick was at the center of one of the most controversial decisions NFL players have made in recent years.

Granted, as sportsbook players are well aware, the NFL is ubiquitous with controversy, from players consistently making headlines for off-the-field issues, whether it be domestic abuse or deflated footballs, the NFL arguably has some of the most troublesome athletes in North America.

But this time around, Kaepernick stirred controversy not because of his off-the-field issues, but rather for something he decided to do on the gridiron. Specifically, Kaepernick decided to sit, and eventually kneel, during the pregame recital of the National Anthem. Kaepernick felt that the message of both the flag and anthem was applying more to some and less to others.

Those who bet on NFL would probably agree that tensions between the police and the general public, specifically with ethnic communities, reached an all-time low in 2016, and haven’t gotten much better in 2017. It seemed like every week there was a new clip being plastered across all media outlets showing an unarmed African-American youth shot, or even murdered, by a police officer who feared for his own life. However players may feel about shootings, there’s no denying that Kaepernick, and the players who joined him in protesting the anthem, brought attention to a very sensitive issue.

But now the 49ers have chosen not to re-sign Kaepernick, and the quarterback has publically stated that he will stand during the anthem next year. This has led some online NFL betting critics to claim that Kaepernick has decided to refrain from disrespecting the anthem in order to help land a spot this offseason. Whether or not that’s true, it does seem like a likely possibility.

There’s no shortage of teams looking for a quarterback this offseason; Chiefs, Broncos, Redskins, and potentially Steelers – who will soon have to deal with Roethlisberger, but how many of those teams would be willing to pick up a controversial player? Not many.

In the end, sportsbook players might see the young quarterback go unsigned. Which is a shame, considering that Kaepernick posted a 90.7 passer rating for the season in 2016. Granted, the Niners didn’t win too many games with him at the helm.