Four years ago, Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee to protest police brutality and systemic injustice.
“I am not looking for approval,” he said at the time. “I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.”
After that season, Colin became a free agent. His dedication to activism despite the controversy that came with it led to a national conversation. It also is the reason that Colin has been a free agent with no team since then. Last year, Colin’s legal team reached a settlement with the NFL against claims he was blackballed from the league because of his protests.
The NFL is now allegedly ready to eat crow. League commissioner Roger Goodell has apologized and admitted the league was wrong for not listening to players’ concerns about racism. Though he didn’t mention Colin in the nearly two-minute statement, many fans think what happens with Colin next will be the real indicator of the league’s willingness to change.
The 32-year-old former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has continued training each season as if he would report to work. Last November, he demonstrated his readiness in a workout attended by owners and coaches, but he was not hired. For many, justice won’t be served until Colin is back on the field.
“Well don’t apologize, give Colin Kaepernick a job back!” Reverend Al Sharpton said during a speech at George Floyd‘s funeral.
“Don’t come with some empty apology, take a man’s livelihood, strip a man down of his talents, and four years later when the whole world is marching, all of a sudden you go and do a FaceTime, talking about you sorry.”
New Orleans Saints player Malcolm Jenkins also felt the apology fell short. “Until they apologize, specifically, to Colin Kaepernick, or assign him to a team, I don’t think that they will end up on the right side of history,” he noted.
“At the end of the day, they’ve listened to their players, they’ve donated money, they’ve created an Inspire Change platform; they’ve tried to do things up to this point. But it’s been one player in particular that they have ignored and not acknowledged, and that’s Colin Kaepernick.”
Matt Kolsky, a cohost on 95.7 The Game, also believes the league will fail to make things right with Colin. “Today, I believe he’s capable of doing the job — better than guys who are currently on NFL rosters, so in my mind that says he ought to be on a roster,” he said.
“But I believe the NFL will use the excuse that he has not played professional football in two or three years as a way to not sign him, while still pretending that they care about the issues.”
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