Colin Kaepernick Is Reminding The NFL He's 'Still Ready' After Being Blackballed For 889 Days
The former NFL quarterback reminded teams he was preparing ahead of next season.
Colin Kaepernick took a little time out on Wednesday to remind us all that he still very much looks the part of a headlining NFL quarterback.
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The video starts with a countdown clock linking to the @KapWatch Twitter account ran by reporter Jamilah King and filmmaker Josh Begley.
As of Wednesday, Kaepernick had been blackballed for 889 days, which equals about two and a half years.
The 31-year-old has been kept out of the league since the 2016-2017 season for kneeling during the national anthem to protest systemic racism. President Donald Trump turned Kaepernick's protest into a major campaign issue and spent months attacking him even after taking office.
The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017'
Trump publicly pressured the NFL's conservative owners into keeping Kaepernick out of the league despite clear, painfully obvious evidence that Kaepernick was better than dozens of quarterbacks that trot out onto the field each Sunday.
Number NFL team officials are speculating to me is the NFL paid Kaepernick in the $60 to $80 million range.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) February 15, 2019'
The settlement was notable because legal experts said collusion cases are known for being difficult to prove, but the NFL had a financial incentive to end the controversy quietly. NFL officials told reporters they were worried about audio clips and emails acquired by Kaepernick's lawyers that would reportedly embarrass a number of NFL owners.
Trump now gloats in campaign speeches about keeping Kaepernick out of football and is using it again as a key component of his campaign for reelection.
"It was reported that NFL owners don't want to pick him up because they don't want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump," Trump said at a Louisville rally in March. "Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I'm going to report it to the people of Kentucky. They like it when people actually stand for the American flag."
As NFL training camps start and pre-season begins, analysts will continue to question teams that go into the season with inexperienced quarterbacks over Kaepernick.
After a quiet few months, Kaepernick was brought back into the conversation when ESPN host Dan Le Batard went on an impassioned rant after Trump's "send her back" chants and tweets.
Stop what you're doing and watch this.@LeBatardShow responds to the racist "Send her back" and "Go back to your country" attacks against Ilhan Omar and other congresswomen.— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) July 18, 2019'
"If you're not calling it abhorrent, obviously racist, dangerous rhetoric, you're complicit." pic.twitter.com/ntOC2Seg3b
"The most powerful among us in sports who were fighting in the civil rights era...They're old and dying. Jim Brown is old, he walks with a cane. He's gonna go to the grave without having seen change. He's gonna go to the grave with Colin Kaepernick still out of the league," Le Batard said last month. "Literally blackballed. All because we're taking this stuff and making it about the flag when it's not about the flag. It's about race. This isn't about the flag."