If Colin Kaepernick wants another chance in the NFL, the free-agent quarterback should start by ditching his Afro hairstyle and getting a haircut.
That was the surprising advice Kaepernick received Monday from former NFL QB Michael Vick.
"First thing we've got to get Colin to do is cut his hair," Vick said during a guest appearance on Fox Sports 1's "Speak for Yourself." "Listen, I'm not up here to try to be politically correct. Even if he puts cornrows in there. I don't think he should represent himself in that way (wearing the Afro). Just the hairstyle. Just go clean-cut. You know, why not? You're already dealing with a lot." Vick said the former 49ers starter's goal should be to look more "presentable."
Today's Afro-wearing Kaepernick doesn't resemble the young NFL star who led the 49ers to Super Bowl 47 in the 2012 season. Kaepernick embraced the look while in the middle of his national anthem protests last season.
"I just think perception and image is everything. This is not the Colin Kaepernick that we've known since he entered the National Football League," Vick said. "I'm just going off my personal experiences. Listen, I love the guy to death. But I want him to also succeed on and
off the field. This has to be a start for him."
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Vick said people advised him during his own career to adopt a professional look, but he didn't listen until the end of his playing days. He also said he realized he needed to clean up his image if he wanted a second chance in the NFL after spending 18 months in prison for financing a dogfighting ring and being directly involved in the killing of dogs.
That said, Vick believes Kaepernick's unemployment has more to do with his play over the past two seasons than with perhaps being blackballed by the league over his social stances, as many people believe.
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What if Kaepernick is accused of selling out rather than keeping it real? Vick said he'd tell him not to sweat it if they were talking face to face.
"It's not about selling out. When you're good, and you're playing great, then you're going to be wanted. People are going to want to sign you, going to want to see you play," Vick said.
I thought I had heard all the Kaepernick hot takes in recent months, but Vick's haircut advice is a new one.