Former NFL second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been out of work for almost two full seasons, but it seems he may have finally found a home — with the nation’s most controversially named NFL team.
According to Yahoo Sports, Kaepernick, who walked away from a one-year contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers, under the mistaken impression his anti-racism protests had made him a desirable commodity, is “ready and willing” to suit up for just about any professional football team, even if that means playing for the Washington Redskins, whose very name sparks revulsion in social justice communities.
“The sources told Yahoo Sports on Sunday that Kaepernick remains willing to play for any NFL team that wants to offer him a job,” the outlet reported late Sunday. “Both stressed that ‘any NFL team’ includes the Redskins, in spite of longstanding criticism over the team’s logo and name, as well as team owner Dan Snyder having been one of the most critical owners on the issue of players kneeling during the national anthem.”
“He’s a professional Super Bowl-caliber quarterback and in the best shape of his life and he would play if given the opportunity on any NFL team,” sources told Yahoo.
The Redskins are a controversial team, to say the least. The moniker “redskin” is widely recognized as an overtly racist term for a Native American, and social justice warriors have been pushing the team to adopt a more “modern” name for decades. Public opinion on the matter is generally split, but certainly Colin Kaepernick, who has made “anti-racism” the subject of his public protests, probably isn’t on the side of those who claim critics of the Redskins’ name are being “overly-sensitive.”
Of course, the Redskins would have to roll out the red carpet to Colin Kaepernick first, and they don’t seem in a hurry to pick him up — or pick up any experienced quarterback, for that matter. Instead, the team is relying on aging QB Mark Sanchez backed up by Josh Johnson who, Yahoo news points out, hasn’t thrown a pass in nearly seven years.
Fox News reports that the Redskins have “discussed” signing Kaepernick but haven’t made any job offers and certainly haven’t scheduled any tryouts, even though they have a losing record and are looking increasingly desperate for talent. Coaches for the Redskins told Yahoo that they’re concerned about bringing in a brand new QB with only three weeks left in the season.
Kaepernick has been out of work for nearly two years, having left the San Francisco 49ers back in 2016. He claims that’s not because he lacks talent — though by the time he left San Francisco he was relegated to second-string QB — but because his anti-racism protests, which involved kneeling during the national anthem ceremony that takes place before each NFL game, made him a pariah.
Those same protests, which caught on after President Donald Trump publicly condemned them at a rally in 2017, have gone on to cost the NFL dearly, leaving stadiums empty and tickets unsold.
In a lawsuit filed this year, Kaepernick accused NFL team owners of coordinating with each other — and President Trump — to shut him out of the league. That lawsuit is reportedly in its “final stages,” meaning it could be close to a resolution or settlement.