As the NFL looks for ways to show that it has had the same awakening that so many other Americans have experienced since the murder of George Floyd, the easiest and most compelling way to demonstrate that fact would be to put Colin Kaepernick back to work. Veteran agent Drew Rosenhaus, who has represented hundreds of players over the years, believes that Kaepernick should indeed be back in the NFL.
“I think [Kaepernick] should get signed,” Rosenhaus told Christian Red of NBCNews.com. “I think he will get signed. It’s really important for the NFL to give him a chance. That would be great for the league at this juncture. I think it would reflect very well on everything that Kaepernick has stood up for over the last several years. He was really ahead of his time with a lot of the things he was saying. If you play many of his interviews years ago, they’re spot on today.”
Indeed they are. Consider these quotes from August 2016, the same month Kaepernick first began protesting during the anthem.
“There is police brutality,” Kaepernick said. “People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it. And they’re government officials. They’re put in place by the government so that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable, make those standards higher.
“You have people that practice law and our lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.”
Kaepernick was right, even though many obsessed over his method in order to ignore his message. In California, police officers were required as of 2016 to attend an 888-hour Basic Police Academy, which requires roughly six months to complete. Cosmetologists in California had a 1,600-hour training requirement before they could even take the test required to get a license.
In Atlanta on Friday night, the nation saw once again what happens when someone who doesn’t know how to properly use lethal force has lethal force available to him in a moment of stress and confusion.
“Sign him,” Rosenhaus said. “Bring him to training camp and give him a chance to compete like everybody else. He deserves that. If he is not good enough on the football field — we’ll never know unless he gets a chance. He certainly was forced into retirement in his prime. He’s still young enough in my opinion, even with the time off, that he can still be a very solid player in this league. People should rally around him in the NFL, embrace him right now. One of the 32 teams really needs to step up.”
And there would be a reward for stepping up, from off-the-charts jersey sales to an instant nationwide fan base, both of which would more than offset those who like to huff and puff but can’t or won’t blow many houses down.
“It would be awesome if there was an NFL organization that was willing to give [Kaepernick] a chance,” Rosenhaus said. “I can’t see any reason why someone wouldn’t right now. He was a very good quarterback. There’s a shortage of good players at that position. It would go a long way on a lot of levels, for the NFL to bring him back in the fold and make him an important part of the NFL.”
He’s already an important part of the NFL, even without a job in the league. As the NFL tries to turn words into action, no action would be more impactful than getting Kaepernick back to work.