XFL Claims Colin Kaepernick’s Salary Demands Were Too High
Colin Kaepernick was on the list of notable former NFL players who were invited to join the XFL, but the two sides reportedly could not come to an agreement due to his high salary demands. XFL commissioner Oliver Luck told NPR on Sunday that the league approached Kaepernick, but “significant salary restrictions” meant that they “couldn’t go down that road.”
“We gave it some thought,” Luck explained. “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 salary requirements that some folks shared with us were, in our case, exorbitant, so we couldn’t go down that path.”
He clarified later, adding: “We spoke with his representative and the salary requirements that were broached in that conversation were exorbitant and certainly out of our range.”
The XFL’s opening weekend was relatively strong last week, with its opening game on ABC averaging 3.3 million viewers–for comparison, that’s higher than a NBA Christmas Day matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors.
Kaepernick, who once guided the 49ers to the Super Bowl, began kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season to protest racial injustice in the United States. Other players quickly followed, eventually ignited a feud with President Trump, who called on NFL owners to fire any player “when somebody disrespects our flag.”
Following the 2016 season where he became known for his protests of racial injustice, Kaepernick has not landed a job with another NFL team. Notably, the XFL does require that all players stand for the national anthem.