You could say that former quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is the most famous and controversial free agent of the NFL. In 2016, he sacrificed his career and reputation by taking the knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality. He has since had three seasons off the field continuing his work for the Black Lives Matter movement. However, that could all change according to a report by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Amid the current political climate, it appears the sport is keen on the return of the former 49ers player following backlash for the league’s racism policy early this month. Garafolo has reported that several teams are interested in signing with Kaepernick, and that early discussions have already begun.
“Teams are circling around here getting closer, I believe, certainly closer than they’ve been in recent years,” Garafolo confirmed. “My understanding, at least to explain it from a team’s perspective, is they’re still doing their homework, still doing their research. When they get to the point where they’re confident enough that they think they can work out a contract, that’s when there’ll be direct communication with the agent. But for now … we all see more positive signs that Kaepernick could be back in the league soon.”
Speaking with ESPN, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted he was “wrong” to silence Kaepernick and encouraged teams to sign the quarterback. It is far different to that of seasons past where any player was silenced for any signs of political protest.
Steps to achieve higher equality in the sporting franchise begun to take place in 2019 where Jay-Z and Roc Nation announced a partnership with the NFL to carry out the Super Bowl half time show. And instead of a whitewashed spectacle, the 2020 show was rich in celebration for Latina heritage with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez taking the stage.
But the question remains: will Colin Kaepernick return to the league? Stay tuned.