Colin Kaepernick says he’s is ready to return to the gridiron and lead an NFL team, despite not taking a snap in five years after being the first player to take a knee during the national anthem.
Kaepernick, 33, has been a free agent since 2016 when his divisive racial injustice protests swayed the San Francisco 49ers not to re-sign him. No team has taken a chance on him since, as the league continues to reckon with social issues.
Despite accepting a confidential settlement from the NFL for being blackballed, Kaepernick continues to train religiously for a potential call-up, the former NFC champ told Ebony Magazine.
“Absolutely. 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,” Kaepernick said during an interview for the magazine’s Oct. 29 issue.
“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 gonna be persistent here.”
The athlete-turned-activist has also been focused on building up a production company to “showcase the work of Black and Brown directors, producers, creators, and storytellers,” and promoting Kaepernick Publishing, which just released its first book, an anthology edited by the controversial QB.
“You have the power and ability to have an impact and create the change and bring about the future that you want,” the former elite player reportedly said of his media endeavors.
Kaepernick said he believes his dedication to his training regimen exposes the true nature of the league’s refusal to welcome him back.
“And you’re gonna have to continue to deny me and do so in a public way. And you’re gonna expose yourself by that, but it won’t be because I’m not ready or not prepared.”
The NFL formally addressed the Star Spangled Banner protests last year after being pressured by top players, including Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, in the wake of George Floyd’s police murder.
“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said, while not mentioning Kaepernick by name.
An upcoming Netflix series called “Colin in Black & White,” will depict Kaepernick’s formative years as a black child adopted into a white family.
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