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:

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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."

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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.