Former Yankees great David Wells took aim at former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as he doubled down on his criticism of Nike.
The former pitcher, 60, joined Derek Jeter and a few other members of the 1998 World Champion New York Yankees at Old Timers’ Day in the Bronx last month, where he complained about everything from ‘woke’ culture to the club’s current struggles.
Wells claimed that Nike is woke, baseball players are coddled, and everyone should carry a gun.
But, when asked if he was still receiving backlash for his comments during an appearance on ‘Don’t @ Me’ with Dan Dakich on the OutKick network this week, Wells said: ‘No, not really, I only go to social media from time to time, and it just depends on my mood swings.
‘If I’m feeling a little sassy I go on there and start talking some c***, but you know what? It’s my beliefs. I don’t believe in all these companies coming into sports and trying to create a woke atmosphere, especially with Nike, with all their slave labor that they’re doing over there in China.’
Former Yankees great David Wells doubled down on his criticism of ‘woke’ Nike
The former pitcher also took aim at former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick (right)
After yet another dig at Nike, Wells hit out at former signal caller Kaepernick, who sparked nationwide protests when he took the knee during the national anthem in 2017.
He said he saw former NBA player Enes Freedom last weekend at Frank Siller’s T2T charity golf outing at Liberty National Golf Course.
‘He says it well: ‘You can’t play this woke stuff and bring it into sports and then have everybody do it,” Wells said.
‘That’s why when [Colin] Kaepernick took the knee, it’s a little disrespect to me, because I’m a patriot. I support our military. I come from a military town in San Diego.
‘You can’t do things like that. Your beliefs are your beliefs. I don’t have any problem with that. But don’t go out on national TV and take a knee for what that is. That doesn’t prove anything in my mind. It proves that you’re an idiot and that you’re standing up for a cause.
‘When the anthem’s there, you’re in America, you do the anthem, you do the Pledge of Allegiance. That’s what you do. That’s what we were taught in elementary school. Put your hand over your heart and say the Pledge of Allegiance.’
He went on to claim that Kaepernick’s protests weren’t fair to the young generation as he urged athletes to do their ‘due diligence’ before deciding what they will protest but insisted it shouldn’t be against the nation’s flag and military.
Wells also insisted that he would be just as outspoken as he is today if he was still an active player in MLB.
The 60-year-old claimed that Kaepernick’s protests weren’t fair to the young generation
‘Absolutely, guaranteed contracts are there for a reason,’ Wells said.
‘If you get a guaranteed contract and you’re making 5-10-40 million a year, I’d be speaking up like no other. What are they gonna do? If they trade you or release you, you’re getting that money.’
The former Yankee admitted that everyone has a right to protest but insisted there must be a line drawn between taking a stance during a sporting event and your own time.
‘You have the right — that’s what our First Amendment is for — to speak your mind. You do have to watch what you say from time to time, but if you feel strongly about something go ahead and support it. If your organization wants to criticize for you, there’s other organizations,’ Wells said.
‘All these guys that are protesting, they’re standing up for what they believe in, but don’t do it in sports. Keep it on the side. Go to Twitter, but don’t do it on the field where everyone can see it.’
Wells also insisted that he would be just as outspoken, if he was still an active player in MLB
Wells began his career as a middling starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers, but began to enjoy some success in 1995 when he earned his first of three All-Star nods. He would ultimately be traded to Cincinnati that season before joining Baltimore as a free agent in 1996 and then, more famously, the New York Yankees in 1997.
He pitched a perfect game for the Yankees in 1998 en route to his second World Series title.
But prior to the following season, Wells would be sent back to Toronto in a deal for Cy Young winner Roger Clemens.
Wells wasn’t finished, however, and was named to the 2000 AL All-Star team before returning to the Yankees and 2002 and ultimately finishing his career in 2007 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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