Out of the league since 2017, Colin Kaepernick, one would guess, has likely played his last NFL snap. With all his activism work and a Netflix series on the horizon, the former 49ers QB has plenty of irons in the fire and probably isn’t hurting for money after reaching an undisclosed settlement with the NFL, the result of a collusion grievance he filed against the league in 2017. Still, Kaepernick, who was granted a showcase before scouts in Atlanta two years ago (though nothing would come of it), continues to hope for another NFL opportunity, sharing with Sunny Hostin of Ebony Magazine that he still trains 5-6 days a week, vowing to stay ready should the call ever come.
“Absolutely,” said the 33-year-old when asked if he still dreams of playing in the NFL. “I am still up at 5 a.m. training five, six days a week making sure I’m prepared to take a team to a Super Bowl again. That’s not something I will ever let go of, regardless of the actions of 32 teams and their partners to deny me employment. The same way I was persistent in high school is the same way I’m going to be persistent here.”
Kaepernick, who led San Francisco to a Super Bowl appearance in 2012, became a polarizing figure when he began kneeling for the national anthem during the 2016 season, doing so in order to shine a light on societal plagues such as systemic racism and police brutality. While detractors framed his movement as radical and anti-American, Kaepernick’s protest of the “Star-Spangled Banner” was actually the result of a conversation he had with former Green Beret Nate Boyer, who advised him that kneeling was more respectful than sitting. After initially outlawing protests of the national anthem, the NFL eventually reversed course while also pledging $250 million toward social justice initiatives over the next 10 years.
“You’re going to have to continue to deny me and do so in a public way,” said a defiant Kaepernick. “It won’t be because I’m not ready or prepared.”