“I definitely think that the league, the owners are trying to send a message of, 'Stay in between the lines.'”
Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin says he’s changed his stance on Colin Kaepernick’s situation, and feels that NFL owners are making an example of the free agent quarterback.
Kaepernick remains unsigned after a season in which he chose to protest racial inequalities and police violence during the national anthem as a member of the 49ers.
Baldwin, who has also been outspoken on race and social issues, shared his opinion on the matter. The Seahawks were the only team to bring in Kaepernick for a visit this off-season but eventually chose not to sign him.
“My original position was I thought that the situation last year with him taking a knee didn't have anything to do with it,” Baldwin said, according to ESPN. “After viewing what's going on, I've got to take that back. I definitely think that the league, the owners are trying to send a message of, 'Stay in between the lines.' It's frustrating because you want to have guys who are willing to speak out about things that they believe in, whether you agree with it or not. But I think that's definitely playing a role now moreso than I thought it was going to.”
Reports have indicated some owners are wary of fan reaction to signing Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to a Super Bowl berth in 2013.
“If you take a step back and you look at the overall picture, there's a lot of teams in this league that could use a quarterback of Colin Kaepernick's ability," Baldwin said. "And why he doesn't have a job, it's very telling to me. He's a very capable player. There's a lot of teams out there that need quarterbacks -- whether they're a starting quarterback or a backup-caliber quarterback. The fact that he hasn't been brought into camp yet is questionable.”