There was a report in June by NFL Network that said multiple NFL teams were interested in signing Colin Kaepernick since he hasn’t played in the league since 2016. In that same month, league commissioner Roger Goodell said that he supported NFL teams bringing the quarterback-turned-activist on to their roster.
But ProFootballTalk says all of that was fake, and teams had no real interest in signing Kaepernick, they were just reacting to the firestorm over George Floyd dying in May while in police custody.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, there was some ‘fake’ interest expressed immediately after Floyd’s death, seemingly out of guilt,” ProFootballTalk writer Mike Florio wrote in a Sept. 7 piece. “There has been zero interest expressed as to Kaepernick in months.”
Once Florio tweeted his column, a debate broke out about whether Kaepernick is still capable of playing professionally, whether he really still wants to play and if he’s better off just being an activist.
“He’s not a football player anymore. We can argue about the why but he’s a social/community activist now,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Since the league can see clearly now they should create an opportunity in the office with him as the league liaison between the Movement and the community,” another person chimed in.
“In my opinion you can not keep a good man down. If C. K. Never play a game of 🏈 again which is sad because the NFL is about 70 percent Black He is going to be alright. I’m just tired of seeing all of the injustices in The NFL Period,” read a third comment.
Kaepernick began protesting systemic racism and police brutality in 2016 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and opted out of his contract at the end of that season.
Many said that Floyd’s death and the widespread reaction to it confirmed that Kaepernick was right all along about protesting, a move that seemed to get him blackballed by the NFL.
The 32-year-old has expressed interest in still playing in the league and posted workout videos last year to show that he was still in shape. Kaepernick was also scheduled to attend a workout in Flowery Branch, Georgia, at the Atlanta Falcons’ training facility last November, with NFL teams invited to asses his skills.
But in the eleventh hour, Kaepernick moved the Goodell-created workout some 50 miles away to Charles Drew High School in the Atlanta suburb of Riverdale, Georgia, after he didn’t want to sign the NFL’s liability waiver and wanted cameras present.
Earlier this week, it was reported that quarterback Josh McCown was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad at 41 years old, making him the oldest practice squad player in league history.
He’ll also be called to take the field if Eagles’ quarterbacks Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Jalen Hurt get injured. Florio wrote that this demonstrates McCown’s signing is proof that NFL teams have no interest in bringing on Kaepernick, since at the very least he could’ve been signed for a similar role.
The NFL season opens today, Sept. 10, with quarterback Pat Mahomes and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Houston Texans.