Michael Vick’s Advice for Unemployed Colin Kaepernick: Cut Your Hair

Does Colin Kaepernick want a job as a quarterback in the N.F.L.? Michael Vick said he thought a haircut would help.

“The first thing we got to get Colin to do is cut his hair,” Vick said on “Speak for Yourself” on Fox Sports 1 on Monday. “I don’t think he should represent himself in that way in terms of the hairstyle. Just go clean cut. Why not?” Kaepernick currently wears a very full Afro.

On Tuesday, Kaepernick posted a message on Twitter about Stockholm syndrome that might have been a veiled response.

“Perception and image is everything,” said Vick, a retired quarterback who rehabilitated his own career after serving time in jail for involvement in dogfighting. “I love the guy to death, but I want him to succeed on and off the field, and this has to be a start for him.”

On Tuesday, Vick backed down somewhat, saying, “Colin Kaepernick’s hair has nothing to do with him not being on an N.F.L. roster right now.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing him on the field again. Trust and believe what I said was not in malice.”

After six years with the San Francisco 49ers, including a Super Bowl appearance, Kaepernick finds himself in need of a job. But no team has signed him, though plenty of journeyman quarterbacks have found work. Plenty of commenters say the reason is not his play, but his activism.

Before N.F.L. games last season, Kaepernick knelt, in protest against racism and police brutality, during the playing of the national anthem. That decision proved unpopular with a portion of fans, and perhaps also the largely conservative N.F.L.

Others claim that teams are primarily concerned about Kaepernick’s apparently declining skills. Still, quarterbacks without stellar statistics, like Mike Glennon and Josh McCown, have landed jobs.

Others point to Kaepernick’s athletic style, which has never quite caught on in a league that values quarterbacks with big arms who sit in the pocket. “That style of quarterback, everybody thought was going to take over the N.F.L.,” the former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana told USA Today’s For the Win last week. “The league has figured out how to defend it.”

On Tuesday, Kaepernick posted a definition of Stockholm syndrome on Twitter, the notion that captives often start to identify with their kidnappers. Kaepernick did not elaborate further, but that did not stop plenty of people from speculating that it was a veiled shot at Vick.

“The syndrome is also called ‘traumatic bonding’ or ‘victim brainwashing,’ ” the definition read.

Comments are closed.