Colin Kaepernick Rejected XFL Over Money?
Did Colin Kaepernick Reject the XFL over money? That is the impression the XFL gave this weekend.
The first week of XFL action came and went over the past 48 hours, with the second incarnation of the infamous football league seemingly looking a lot better than the first.
Big names like Cardale Jones, Josh Johnson, Landry Jones, Aaron Murray and Matt Jones headlined the festivities.
Basically anyone who is not currently on NFL roster, whose name you have heard of and is young enough to still play football, appears to be in the XFL.
With one exception: Kaepernick.
All weekend long, many fans wondered why the XFL had not extended an olive branch to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
Kaepernick has not played football since 2016, when he began kneeling in protest of racial injustice.
In a recent interview with NPR, XFL commissioner Oliver Luck was pressed on what Kaepernick was not a part of their league. His answer was short and sweet: money.
The top paid players in the XFL make something in the $500,000 range. And most players don’t get anywhere near that total.
Kaepernick is said to have wanted $20 million to participate.
“We gave it some thought,” Luck said of signing Kaepernick.
“We have some pretty significant salary restrictions, you know. We’re a start-up league, so we want to make sure that we can be fiscally responsible and fiscally prudent.
“And the, you know, salary requirements that some folks, you know, shared with us were in our case exorbitant, so we, you know, couldn’t go down that path.”
The $20 million that Kaepernick wanted is reportedly the same as what he asked of the Alliance of American Football for his participation. The AAFL, of course, went out of business midway through its inaugural season.
With WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon bankrolling opeations, the XFL does not need to worry about running out of money. Yet. But that also does not mean that the organization can afford to go around throwing it down the drain.
Even without Kaepernick to stir things up, the XFL amassed an audience of more than three million for its first set of games. If the numbers continue to trend along that line, they will be in good shape to dictate terms to people who want to play for the league, not the other way around.