When the NFL’s Detroit Lions had to place quarterback Jeff Driskel on injured reserve, and with their normal starting quarterback Matthew Stafford out for four consecutive games due to a fractured back, they needed at least one quarterback, but added two over the weekend to their practice squad — and neither was named Colin Kaepernick.
The Lions were one of eight teams that sent representatives to attend Kaepernick’s workout in November. Over the weekend, they signed Kyle Sloter, 25, from the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad and Joe Callahan, 26, and put both of them on their practice squad, as Fox Business reported. Undrafted rookie David Blough debuted as the Lions’ quarterback on Thanksgiving Day and threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
After Kaepernick’s workout for prospective employers, sports business analyst Andrew Brandt wrote in Sports Illustrated, “I have been around the NFL — as an agent, team executive and analyst — for close to 30 years and have never seen the league set up an individual player workout. Teams and agents set up workouts; the NFL does not set up workouts. This was unprecedented.”
NFL teams may not be interested in Kaepernick for reasons other than his athletic skills. On November 28, Kaepernick took his criticism of America to a new level, accusing the United States of having “stolen” billions of acres of land from “Indigenous people” by tweeting, “Spent the morning at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always.”
Spent the morning at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always.✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/6cTuktUlQN
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 28, 2019
After his November workout, Kaepernick complained, “I’ve been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why I came out here – showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running. Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people.”
Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan stated on ESPN’s “Get Up,” “The NFL doesn’t have to have this kid play. I’m sorry. What I see on the video is look, if you want to break down the little video, you see, you see, is he throwing the ball behind him, too much air on his deep ball, yeah, all those type of things. But that wasn’t about this. As a coach, you don’t want this circus in the locker room. And, I’m sorry, but that’s what it is. Is it going to be worth all the extra media? You’re going to have a backup quarterback having press conferences.”
Kaepernick’s saga began in the preseason of 2016, when he refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem at preseason games. He told Steve Wyche of NFL Media: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Also that summer, Kaepernick wore socks to practice that featured the image of a pig in a police officer’s hat. He stated, “I wore these socks in the past because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments not only put the community in danger but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust.”
In November 2016, Kaepernick was booed in Miami after he had praised Cuban President Fidel Castro. By June 2017, after he had not found a job in the NFL, Kaepernick was comparing police officers to fugitive slave patrols.