Earlier this week the NFL released a video condemning police brutality, white supremacy, discrimination, all while supporting the “Black Lives Matter” movement. This is a seismic shift instance for the league. It is shocking that it took the NFL this long, considering the league is over 70% black. While the NFL’s new position is great to some people, there’s one obvious, glaring issue, Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has not played a single down in the NFL since the 2016 season. Despite the NFL’s attempt to change the narrative, it is flagrantly naive to think Kaepernick wasn’t blackballed from the league because of his protest. Four years later, the NFL seem to have shifted its position, and aligned themselves with Kapernick’s original beliefs. If we rewind time, when asked about why he’s kneeling, Kap said he’s protesting “police interactions with communities of color”, no matter how much the President, his supporters, and Drew Brees try to conflate the issue.
If the NFL is serious about this new stance they've adopted they need to make things right with Kaepernick. A formal apology and a re-establishment of relations with the league is needed.
Of course, there will be apprehension and mistrust from the Kapernick camp, but if they’re serious about a return to football, Kap deserves a legitimate chance to play again. Nobody can logically make the case that Kap isn’t able to play quarterback in the NFL. We’ve seen some absolutely horrible QB play over the last few seasons. Kap’s mobility and arm talent certainly warrant a spot on a team. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has cast a cloud of uncertainty for most players looking for jobs in the league.
If the NFL is truly committed to the causes, they should continue the work they’ve done as far as donating to causes to expand the movement, but now is the time to stand by their players.
It is time for the league to stop silencing their players. Lastly, it's time for the association to align themselves with Kaepernick on and off the field. The NFL can no longer allow themselves and their fans to use the flag as a blindfold to hide from the actual issue. If the NFL is serious, let Kaepernick’s status as a QB be decided on the field and not through political games. It's a literal win-win for the NFL. #BringBackKap