Sports

Free Agent Colin Kaepernick Still Without a Team

NFL teams show no interest in signing Kaepernick

By: George Burkert

Colin Kaepernick is trying to show teams he can still play professional football. Credit: http://www.si.com

After not playing for the NFL for nearly three seasons, Colin Kaepernick held a private workout on November 16, 2019, in the middle of the 2019-2020 NFL season. A couple of weeks later, no team had reached out to Kaepernick.

This is the latest story in the Kaepernick controversy that started during the 2016 NFL season when Kaepernick, who last played for the San Francisco 49ers, started protesting during the National Anthem. He refused to stand for the anthem and sat at first, but then took a knee for the rest of the season.

Kaepernick’s action caused a divide, with some defending him and arguing he has the right to protest. The people against him argued that he was showing disrespect to the people who have fought and died for the United States.

While other NFL players have taken knees like Eric Reed who currently play in the NFL. Kaepernick has not played since the 2016 regular season. 

 The drama involving Kaepernick has been common in the last few years. In response to teams not signing him, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in November 2017, which was during the first season he didn’t play.

Kaepernick believed President Donald Trump, who was vocally against Kaepernick’s kneeling, influenced NFL teams not signing him. According to Bloomberg Politics, the lawsuit was eventually settled in February 2019.

NFL teams had possible reasons not to sign Kaepernick, even if they supported his decision. They worried about the controversy Kaepernick carried with him, that people would focus more on Kaepernick and less on the team itself, and if he was fully committed.

Many people believe Kaepernick deserved to play in the NFL. They argued football players less talented or did worse things than he did were getting a chance instead.

Despite supporting Kaepernick, many in the media questioned how much he wanted to play. ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith believed Kaepernick enjoyed being a martyr and would rather sit out on the games.

The reality of the situation was no one knew how much Kaepernick wanted to play except Kaepernick himself. Kaepernick had stated he wanted to play again and had shown himself working out. 

Kaepernick also caused some controversy when he appeared in a Nike ad back in September 2018. This caused division with Nike fans, with some fans supporting the ad, some boycotting Nike, and even some burning the Nike products they currently owned.

Nike didn’t seem to care, as their numbers went up for the long turn after being down when the ad first came out. Kaepernick played a role in canceling Nike’s Betsy Ross flag shoe line coming out this past summer, saying it connects to slavery.

The Kaepernick/Nike relationship is still going strong, as Kaepernick will soon have his signature shoe released. As of now, Nike’s value is up to $2.62 billion since last year’s ad.

Recently, the NFL invited representatives from all 32 teams to attend Kaepernick’s workout on November 16. According to Sports Illustrated, the workout was supposed to be at the Atlanta Falcons’ practice facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia.

The workout was moved to a nearby high school and was around 45 minutes long. Before the workout was moved, the NFL stated representatives from 25 teams would attend the workout session.

Both the NFL and Kaepernick’s inner circle released statements before the workout. Kaepernick’s representatives accused the NFL of denying their request to have the media at the workout and an independent film crew there for transparency.

According to Deadline, the workout was moved to a high school because it would give journalists more access. Of the 25 teams, only seven attended the workout at the high school.

After the workout, Kaepernick spoke to the media, saying it is time for the NFL and their owners to “stop running from the truth.” The teams that had reported to attend were the Chiefs, Jets, Eagles, 49ers, Titans, Washington, and Lions.

According to NFL media personalities that saw the workout, Kaepernick looks like the same player he was before he was out of the NFL. Despite being 32, he moved well and looked good physically.

As the NFL season winds down, it is looking unlikely that Kaepernick will join a team this season. If that is the case, it only increases the chances of Kaepernick possibly never playing in the NFL again.

Kaepernick will probably continue to try and come back to the NFL. If he does return, whether it’s this season or after this season, he will most likely continue to take a knee during the anthem.

 

Categories: Sports

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