It has been three years since Colin Kaepernick has been on an NFL roster or step onto a football field for an NFL game. Since becoming the face of the police brutality protest movement that has rushed throughout the sports world over the past few years, Kaepernick has been allegedly “blackballed” from NFL rosters. Despite this claim being denied by the commissioner’s office and NFL executives, it is hard to justify teams in the league who seemingly have brought onto their rosters less talented, skilled, decorated, qualified, and in a few cases, criminal signal-callers over the recently turned 32-year-old Kaepernick.
This week, Kaepernick tweeted out that he would be holding a surprise, open workout for NFL executives to view his talents. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Kaepernick and his team desired a Tuesday workout, but the NFL declined that option, as well as the option to host the workout another Saturday. The reasoning for the workout on a different day is that the majority of teams play on Sunday morning and afternoon, meaning that the coaching staff for most teams will be preparing or traveling to their games on Saturday.
Still, executives and scouts for these teams will have the freedom to attend the workout if so desire. According to Heavy.com, the Dallas Cowboys are the only team that has announced publicly that they will send a representative to attend the workout, though that number could grow over the course of the week.
In his final season in the NFL in 2016, Kaepernick put up fairly decent passing numbers, finishing 19th in passer rating out of 32 quarterbacks. However, with the San Francisco 49ers in full rebuilding mode following the departure of some of their high profile players and head coach Jim Harbaugh, the team went 1-10 in games started by Kaepernick. That season, Kaepernick protested police brutality and injustice in the criminal justice system by sitting during the national anthem. After a conversation with former player and Green Beret Nate Boyer, Kaepernick began to kneel to show respect as soldiers kneel at the graves of their fallen comrades. Many other athletes throughout the sporting world took part in support for these causes and Kaepernick.
This adjustment in protest did not lead to a unified understanding, as many conservative pundits called the protest “disrespectful to the flag and soldiers.” Donald Trump joined in on the protest by referring to those who protest as “sons of bi***ches.”
Kaepernick made headlines earlier this month by spending his birth volunteering at a homeless shelter. He says that he still workout on a daily basis for hours a day to keep in shape, hoping for a call to return to the gridiron.