By Jalon Hill
“We were wrong,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a video statement on Friday. ” We were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier.”
This statement came in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd to address the players who had protested over the years in the fight for equality and against police brutality.
The player most notable for kneeling during the national anthem was Colin Kaepernick. A player who was not mentioned during the commissioner’s statement
Leaving one question still left unanswered: Will Colin Kaepernick get another shot in the NFL?
During the 2016 preseason, Kaepernick sat during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice, police brutality, and systematic oppression in the country.
The following week, Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem. He would continue to kneel during the anthem for the remainder of the season.
The protest received numerous reactions, both positive and negative. The protest upset many such as President Donald Trump who said that NFL owners should “fire” players who protest during the national anthem.
The former Pro-Bowl quarterback had led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl XLVII and set multiple rushing and passing records along the way.
Kap’s stat would be consistent in the seasons to follow despite multiple coaching changes, injuries, and missed playoff opportunities.
He opted out of his final contract after the team informed him that he would be released before the 2017-2018 season due to the hiring of coach Kyle Shanahan and Kaepernick’s fit in his system.
It has been a rumor by many that ever since Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem that he has been secretly blackballed from the league by the league owners and commissioner.
In his final season with San Francisco, Kaepernick played in only 12 games but ended the season with 2,241 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, four interceptions, and added 468 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Matt Schaub, Case Keenum, and Brian Hoyer are the names of some of the NFL’s most notable backup quarterbacks.
Colin Kaepernick is much better than all three of these men when stats are put on the table. Yet he has been unemployed for the last 3 seasons.
“He’s a starter in this league.” acknowledged Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carrol in 2017 after meeting with Kaepernick upon entering free agency. “And we have a starter. But he’s a starter in this league, and I can’t imagine that someone won’t give him a chance to play.”
Carrol met with Kap but didn’t work him out or offer a contract. The Baltimore Ravens needed a backup quarterback before the 2017 season but chose not to sign Colin because the owner believed the signing would receive major backlash from the public.
Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing league owners of collusion to keep him out of the league in October of 2017.
In February 2019, A confidential settlement was reached and the grievances were dropped as a result.
On November 12, 2019, the NFL set up a workout for him in Atlanta in which 32 NFL teams were invited to attend. Due to the workout not being public and issues with the liability waiver the NFL asked him to sign, Kaepernick made a change of plans and moved the workout to an Atlanta high school.
Despite receiving good praise for the performance during the workout, Kapernick is still unsigned by an NFL team.
“I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why. I came out here and showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide,” Kaepernick said. “So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running — stop running from the truth, stop running from the people.”
Many around the sports world continue to support Kap’s decision to kneel and the ultimate sacrifice he made to his career. Many believe that he deserves to be employed in the NFL.
“I stand with Kap. I kneel with Kap,” said NBA star Lebron James. “ I feel like what he was talking about nobody wanted to listen to. Nobody wanted to really understand where he was coming from.”
The NFL has made the statement acknowledging that they will be more understanding when it comes to its players who protest but failed to acknowledge the one who started it all.
If the league wants to right its wrong for criticizing its players for protesting then their number one goal should be to make sure that Kaepernick is signed by one of its 32 teams.
The 32-year old quarterback turned activist has continued to work out 5 days a week despite not being on a team for the past 3 years.
He remains ready for an NFL team to call him for another opportunity.