Former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel expressed his support for another free agent passer, Colin Kaepernick, in a series of Twitter postings on Saturday after his first workouts for NFL scouts since 2015.
Kaepernick, who began the kneeling protest during pre-game playings of the US national anthem, arousing the ire of US President Donald Trump, was not signed by any club and did not play last year.
Manziel played two seasons for the Cleveland Browns before off-field issues derailed his NFL career and led to his release two years ago. There were talks with the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats but they proved fruitless.
That led Manziel to work out on Thursday in San Diego before 13 NFL scouts and touched off speculation as to what interest a similar workout by Kaepernick, 30, might bring.
“This will probably cause an uproar, but I’m tired of the @Kaepernick7 vs myself comparisons and anger,” Manziel tweeted. “Kap is doing amazing things right now changing lives and donating millions of dollars.”
“His impact off the field from a societal standpoint is legendary and straight admirable.”
Kaepernick began the anthem protest as a way to put attention on the issues of social inequality and racial injustice in the wake of several African-Americans being killed by police officers across the United States.
Trump declared the protest an insult to the nation and US soldiers and criticized NFL players who kneeled as “sons of bitches” who should be fired for such protests.
“His impact off the field from a societal standpoint is legendary and straight admirable,” Manziel tweeted of Kaepernick.
“Standing up for people who often don’t get heard and for a race that continually deals with problem after problem in this country for CENTURIES. This world we live in is absolutely crazy and I believe what he’s doing has an amazing impact.”
Manziel also sees Kaepernick’s unemployment as a function of his social leadership not any knock on his skills, which helped the San Francisco 49ers reach Super Bowl 47 in 2013 when they lost to Baltimore.
Along those lines, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL and club owners accusing them of collusion to not hire him.
“The facts of the matter are the reason he’s not being signed are non football based. The guy took a team to the Super Bowl and continuously wreaked havoc on the NFC West and the league. Maybe he had a bad year two years ago but he’s not a bad player and that’s a fact,” Manziel tweeted.
“In my opinion the guy still has a lot in the tank but it’s not my place to say what he wants to do with his career. All I can speak for is myself and trying to turn my life around from the depths it was in.”