Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has yet to find another job in the NFL and many spectators feel that it is not because of his ability to play football, but for his open protest of police brutality against African Americans and other minorities.
In 2016, Kaepernick and the 49ers were in San Diego to take on the Chargers in their third preseason game. As everyone in the stadium stood up for the National Anthem, Kaepernick took a knee. He also sat during the anthem in the first two preseason games, but he wasn’t suited up to play, so many thought he was just sitting. But little did the sports world know, there was a profound reason behind his actions.
Kaepernick continued to protest and it grabbed the media’s attention within days. His protest became the talk of every major television network. It got to a point where sports shows were no longer centered upon highlights, trade deadlines, or contract signings. It became a political race issue, talk show. That alone didn’t sit well with sports fans due to many of them implying that they watch these shows to get away from race issues, politics and religious beliefs.
Players from different teams began to join the protest and kneeled at games. Little league players began to do it, players began to speak out, music artists began to voice their support and before you know it the world seemed to be with Colin Kaepernick.
With Kaepernick’s protest gaining momentum, the NFL felt like it was facing its worst nightmare since the Chronic Trauma Encephalopathy discovery. CTE is a brain disease caused by repetitive blows to the head. The discovery of this disease has put the NFL in a dire situation, with some fearing the potential end of football. With the NFL trying to put CTE under the rug, it relates to now Kaepernick’s situation. He had no support from the organization he was playing for and the NFL as a whole didn’t make it anymore supportive of his views. The 49ers were quietly pushing Kaepernick out the door and that caused him to opt out of his contract in the offseason of 2017.
Despite the backlash and scrutiny, during 2016 Kaepernick posted respectable numbers as a quarterback. He threw for 2,241 yards off a 59 percent completion rate, with 16 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He also won a NFC Championship game back in 2012 and went on to play in the Super Bowl.
That sounds like a good enough resume to land a job elsewhere in the NFL, right? Well, in Kaepernick’s case, apparently not.
This NFL offseason has been filled with open quarterback positions and none of those jobs have been presented to Kaepernick. Quarterbacks with below average numbers and players that have been involved in many domestic violence cases, even one player, who was allowed to return to the NFL after being released from prison have been given jobs.
Why not Kaepernick? It appears that he is being blackballed by organizations within the NFL due to his views on African American oppression. However, if you push his stance on racial injustices to the wayside, do you think Kaepernick has earned the right to play in the NFL?
On Tuesday, the Bleacher Report reported that Director Spike Lee, will orchestrate a rally in support of free agent Colin Kaepernick on August 23, at the NFL headquarters in New York City. Additionally, over 20,000 people have signed a petition that states if Kaepernick isn’t on a NFL roster, they will begin boycotting NFL games.
Now that action against the NFL is being planned, how will the National Football League respond? From the CTE discovery to Kaepernick’s situation, what’s next? Roger Goodell and the owners of each team will have a lot of questions to ask themselves heading into this season.