Oliver Luck explains why Colin Kaepernick is not playing in XFL
While the XFL is partially meant as a showcase for players who want to get back into the NFL, there are some high-profile players who are not in the league at the moment.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is one of them, but according to XFL commissioner Oliver Luck, the two sides did talk. Luck told NPR’s Michel Martin that the quarterback’s salary demands did not fit with the league.
“We gave it some thought,” Luck said. “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, you know, salary requirements that some folks, you know, shared with us were in our case exorbitant, so we, you know, couldn’t go down that path.”
Luck clarified that the league did speak to Kaepernick’s representatives, but the financial demands were “out of our range.” The XFL commissioner was noncommittal when asked if the league would ever revisit the opportunity.
“I don’t know what kind of shape, you know, Colin is in,” Luck said. “And, you know, we haven’t followed that because obviously, again, we want the best players who are interested in playing in our league. That’s, you know, pretty much a requisite for our job.”
It’s important to note that the XFL mandates standing for the national anthem. Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem as a form of protest is regarded by many as a major reason that he hasn’t been able to get back into the NFL.
Kaepernick has never appeared all that interested in playing for any NFL alternatives. If the figures he asked of the now-defunct AAF are any indication, it’s understandable why talks with the XFL didn’t get anywhere.