Super Bowl legend and former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath said NFL players Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick deserve to be on the gridiron.
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“I think in Eric’s case – and even Kaepernick’s case – they are good enough players to be out there and having a job. Why aren’t they? I don’t know,” he told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.” on Thursday.
Following the lead of his former teammate Colin Kaepernick, Reid, the former San Francisco 49ers safety, filed a collusion grievance against the NFL over the anthem protests.
Kaepernick sparked the debate during the 2016 season when he refused to stand for the national anthem to protest social injustice. However, in Namath’s opinion, there was no collusion on the NFL’s part.
“I think the NFL is smarter than that,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NFL’s decision to televise the draft for the first time ever paid off as the three-day event drew the highest television ratings in NFL Draft history. This came after the league’s ratings dropped 9% last year, largely due to the anthem protests.
But in Namath’s opinion, the controversy hasn’t damaged the sport.
“The professional sport of football is going to stay and going to continue to grow,” he added. “It’s a great sport, people love the game.”