On Wednesday, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and now leftist cultural icon Colin Kaepernick issued a tweet advertising his availability to return to the NFL, captioning the video, “5am. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready.”
The video accompanying the tweet began with a shot reading: “Denied work for 889 days.”
In October 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance claiming all 32 NFL teams conspired to keep him off the field. Despite the fact that Kaepernick walked away from a one-year option on his contract with the 49ers, the complaint read that NFL owners “have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States.”
As The Daily Wire reported, Kaepernick contended that it was a “statistical impossibility” that he had not to that point obtained gainful employment as a professional football player.
The complaint also alleged that President Trump, the “executive branch of the United States government” was at the heart of the collective agreement; Kaepernick claimed that he’d been out of work in “response to coercion and calculated coordination from the Executive Branch of the United States government.”
In June 2018, Kaepernick’s legal team said they planned to subpoena President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in their grievance case against the National Football League. Fox News reported that Kaepernick’s legal team wanted to compel Trump and Pence to testify on how the White House exerted pressure on the NFL to end the national anthem protests.
In February 2019, the NFL and attorneys for Kaepernick announced that Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid had settled their lawsuit against the league that accused the owners of colluding to keep them out of the NFL.
According to NBC News, the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas, issued a statement, saying:
For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment.
Prior to Kaepernick filing a grievance in 2017, these events occurred:
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.”
There is police brutality — people of color have been targeted by police. That’s a large part of it. [The police] are government officials. They are put in place by the government so that’s something that the country has to change. There are things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher…You have people who practice law, lawyers, who go to school for 8 years, but you can be a cop in 6 months. You don’t have to do the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. I mean someone with a curling iron has more education and training than people who have a gun. That’s insane.
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. During the 2016 season, in one game against the Chicago Bears he became the first QB in league history to be sacked five times and throw for fewer than five yards in a game. In that game, he carried the ball six times for just 20 yards. In 2016, he started eleven games; he won exactly one.
By June 2017, after he had not found a job in the NFL, Kaepernick was comparing police officers to fugitive slave patrols. In August 2017, some executives around the NFL told ESPN the polarizing nature of Kaepernick was too much trouble; one executive said that teams were worried Kaepernick would put his political agenda above the team. He added, “As a team builder, I cannot risk that happening again, especially for a borderline starter who needs the entire offense catered to his style.”