The NFL’s most outspoken and controversial former star has admitted that he’s still in training, hoping to make what would be a remarkable comeback. Colin Kaepernick hasn’t been included in a roster since 2016, but claims that he’s keeping fit in case the call comes.
Kaepernick became a global icon for political activism within global sport in 2016 when the San Francisco 49ers quarterback famously took the knee during the US national anthem during a preseason game, having sat through it in previous games that summer.
This led to a backlash against him and a premature end to his career after he left the 49ers at the end of the season, with rumors that he was being blackballed because of his politics rather than his performances.
He filed a grievance against the NFL in 2017 citing collusion to keep him out of the sport, before reaching a confidential settlement and withdrawing his grievance. However, despite the odd workout – including one with Las Vegas Raiders in May 2022 – Kaepernick has remained out of action.
Ready for action
In an interview with Sports Illustrated he admitted that he doesn’t have any workouts lined up this summer, but is staying fit just in case: “I’m going to keep pushing,” he said. “I’m going to keep fighting for it because I know I can step on the field and play.
“Every workout, every opportunity I’ve had to show that, the feedback has always been positive. Everything from, ‘He’s still an elite player,’ to ‘The workout was great; it was better than expected.’”
However, while reports from Vegas claimed that he had made a good impression on Raiders scouts during his workouts, no offer of a place on their roster was made, and they stuck with Derek Carr, Jarrett Stidham, and Chase Garbers as their quarterbacks.
It’s been a familiar tale for Kaepernick during his seven years of exile: “I’ve heard a lot of excuses over the years,” he said. “But most of the time it ends up, ‘Oh, we’re going to see how the guys that we have do.’
“Obviously, there’s something else within this decision. To me, that’s typically what it ends up being, or has been for the last seven years. So, I just want the opportunity to come in, show what I can do on the field. Judge me based upon that, not the political bias that you have.”
Global activism icon
Kaepernick’s absence from the NFL has certainly seemed conspicuous given his performances for the Niners, who he helped reached Super Bowl XLVII, while he also made the NFL Top 100 Players in 2013 and 2014.
He’s kept busy while out of the sport though, appearing in a famous Nike ad campaign in 2018 focused on his activism as well as being the subject of a Netflix series based on his teenage years. He’s also published a children’s book and won honors from Amnesty International, Sports Illustrated, GQ and Harvard University.
However, it’s clear that he still harbors hopes that he could yet earn a return to the NFL, even at the age of 35, if he can find a team willing to give him one last chance at the big time.
Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.