Colin Kaepernick Ready For Return to NFL

Pressure is mounting for the NFL to reemploy quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Having been out of the game since 2016, Kaepernick is reported to be very interested in returning to the NFL. Yet despite his impressive record and claims that he is in the best shape of his life, Kaepernick continues to receive the cold shoulder. 

As a starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick’s stats were impressive. His passing rate was 88.9, which is higher than 15 of the league’s current starting quarterbacks. What makes the situation even more incomprehensible is the fact that several teams – the New Orleans Saints, the New York Jets, the Carolina Panthers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars – are already facing quarterback problems. 

With quarterback injuries once again jeopardizing team’s prospects, what sensible general manager wouldn’t look for a reliable backup? And Kaepernick, though clearly capable of being a starter, has now stated he would settle for being on the bench. 

Kaepernick’s employment problems began back in 2016, when he made the decision to kneel during the national anthem as a symbolic protest against police brutality. Kaepernick’s protest caused a wave controversy that resulted in his effective exclusion from the NFL. While the league has always denied blacklisting Kaepernick, it settled a collusion lawsuit with him in February, which presumably means they did have something to hide. 

Despite the case being settled, Kaepernick continues to be unemployed, but commentators and fans are increasingly calling on the NFL to put him back on the field. Opinion pieces have appeared in numerous major publications, including the Washington Post and USA Today among others, calling for his return to the NFL.   

One can only speculate as to why Kaepernick continues to be ignored. There are those who believe him responsible for a drop in TV ratings post kneeling-gate, but such claims are hard to substantiate given the enormous success of his Emmy winning, “Dream Crazy”, Nike ad, which caused the company’s stock price to shoot up. 

Another theory has it that Kaepernick’s notoriety would be a distraction from the sport. But other players, such Antonio Brown, who was accused of sexual assault and then proceeded to intimidate his accuser, don’t seem to have been affected by similar concerns. Despite being dropped by the New England Patriots for his behavior, there are reportedly still teams interested in Brown. 

The only realistic conclusion seems to be that Kaepernick is still blacklisted regardless of the settlement agreement between himself and the NFL. No matter how ready Kaepernick might be to return, it seems the NFL is still holding a grudge against him. And the odds are that we’re more likely to see Brown return than Kaepernick.

Hopefully, if people continue to support him, the NFL will be forced to set aside its petty grievances and allow a brilliant player to pick up the ball again.