Namath: Kaepernick, Reid should have job but not buying collusion

Joe Namath owned a Fox Business host Thursday morning.

After first voicing support for Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid — "they're good enough players to be out there" — Namath was pressed by “Varney & Co.” host Stuart Varney on why an NFL owner should hire someone who "damaged the sport."

Varney pointed at a nine percent drop in NFL TV ratings last year to make the point, but Broadway Joe wasn't buying it.

"Damage the sport? It depends on how one looks at this, you see," Namath said, adding the ratings argument is "an opinionated thing."

Educated observers recognize there are several factors that may be contributing to sagging football ratings, from football's violence, sexism, vague rules, excommunicating Kaepernick, and the many other things people can do with their Sunday afternoons.

"I don't think the sport has been damaged, personally," Namath said. "The professional sport of football is going to stay and it's going to continue to grow. It's a great sport, people love the game and there's always going to be people wanting to play the game. I want to watch. I miss watching football, and I think it's going to be around. But the controversy goes on, even in the political arena and in the financial world."

See Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick protesting together: 

17 PHOTOS
Eric Reid protesting during the national anthem
See Gallery
Eric Reid protesting during the national anthem
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18: Eric Reid #35 and Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the 49ers 46-27. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25: (L-R) fFee safety Eric Reid #35, quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 and outside linebacker Eli Harold #58 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sidelines during the national anthem before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle,Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 02: (L-R) Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline during the National Anthem prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 6: Eli Harold #58. Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline during the anthem prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 33-21. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 15: Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on October 16, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills defeated the 49ers 45-16. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 23: Eric Reid #35, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eli Harold #58 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to their NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 16: Eli Harold #58 of the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (not shown) and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the national anthem before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on October 16, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13: Eric Reid #35, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eli Harold #58 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline, during the anthem, the game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 23-20. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 27: Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels dugout the National Anthem before the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on August 27, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the New York Jets at Levi Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers leads the team in a 'call to attention' during the anthem, prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Levi's Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Panthers defeated the 49ers 23-3. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Eli Harold #57, Eric Reid #35 and Marquise Goodwin #11 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 24-13. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 24: Eli Harold #57, Eric Reid #35, Marquise Goodwin #11 and Louis Murphy #18 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline as Adrian Colbert #38 stands with them in solidarity, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Levi's Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Jaguars 44-33. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers leads the team as they kneel and stand together during the anthem prior to the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the 49ers 26-23. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: Eli Harold #57, Eric Reid #35, Marquise Goodwin #11 and Louis Murphy #18 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the anthem as Reuben Foster #56 and Adrian Colbert #38 stand in solidarty, prior to the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The 49ers defeated the Rams 34-13. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Varney then stepped in it when he asked the legendary Jets QB about record ratings for last week's NFL Draft, which was watched by 25 percent more people than last year's.

"Isn't it a bit confusing?" Namath said. "We talk about the ratings being down watching the games, and we talk about the sensational ratings for the draft?"

Exactly.

"I'm a little confused with these ratings systems and the fans falling off," Namath added, "but yet, for draft, it's the biggest ever with the most interest?"

Earlier, Namath was asked his thoughts on Reid, who, with Kaepernick, is accusing the NFL of colluding against them because they knelt for the national anthem.

"It's very complicated, but it's also very simple, too. We have 32 teams, 32 owners, and in this world, if the employer is not pleased 100 percent or close to it with an employee, they don't let him work," Namath said. "I think in Eric's case and even Kaepernick's case, they're good enough players to be out there, having a job. Why aren't they? I don't know."

While he thinks they should be in the league, Namath doesn't buy the collusion claims.

"I don't believe in the collusion though," he said. "I think the NFL is smarter than that."

7 PHOTOS
Names in Colin Kaepernick's grievance against NFL
See Gallery
Names in Colin Kaepernick's grievance against NFL

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is named in the collusion grievance. 

(Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Namath said he was watching the draft last week with everyone else in anticipation of who the Jets would select at No. 3. They took USC quarterback Sam Darnold, a player Namath was metered in discussing because "it's a team game.”

"Darnold, he looks like he can play," Namath said. "He could play at USC and it's going to depend on the rest of the team. He's got to continue to learn and grow. [Jeremy\] Bates, the offensive coordinator, the head coach. I didn't see us take any offensive linemen, and being a quarterback, you're going to be concerned with the offensive line, the whole offense, the running back. It's a team game."

But when it comes to taking down Fox Business hosts, Namath proved that's a one-on-one battle he's certainly up to the task to fight.

Read Full Story