It was a throwaway line at the end of a long answer about Kaepernick’s saga, but he didn’t backtrack when pressed on it later.
With four words, Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks left little doubt what he thinks about his team (and the other 31) not giving quarterback Colin Kaepernick a job the last few seasons:
“We signed Mike Glennon.”
That, of course, is in reference to the Bears bringing in Glennon in 2017 when Kaepernick was a free agent. Glennon started four games before being benched in favor of Mitch Trubisky. He has been signed three times since then, while Kaepernick remains out of the league.
“All I will say is this: We saw it. We watched how it unfolded,” Hicks said Wednesday. “And we see that he doesn’t have a job now. This call isn’t to advocate for Kaep getting a job, but he did sacrifice his position for where he is now. His career was ended because of it, in my opinion. We signed Mike Glennon.”
Hicks seemed to blurt that last line out of frustration, but stuck by it when asked about it later by saying, “You heard that, huh? Yeah, I said that. It was a feeling.”
Hicks said it is beyond clear to him that Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial inequality cost him his career. He said he identified with Kaepernick’s cause, but knew he would pay a similar price if he joined him.
“I had the same thought that 85-90 percent of the league felt at that moment: If I get down on one knee in front of this stadium, I am fired; My job, my life, my career is over; I will be blackballed,” he said. “And then, to come out on the other end and watch it actually happen to Kaepernick just tells me that my feelings were real. It was the reality, and hopefully it won’t be going forward.”