With four full seasons out of football, there’s no way that Colin Kaepernick ever will play again. Recently, the quarterback who was supplanted by Kaepernick in San Francisco spoke out about the shunning of Kaepernick based on his peaceful protests during the national anthem.
“It’s so tragic looking at it,” Washington quarterback Alex Smith told Kyle Brandt on the 10 Questions podcast. “I think [Kaepernick] was ahead of his time, certainly trying to call out social injustice, especially around police reform. The country wasn’t ready. Nobody was ready for it. And he’s sitting there trying to tell everybody through a completely peaceful manner about some of the things going on in this country that had been going on for a long time, and to see the backlash that happened, it hurts. It hurts looking back at it.
“The country wasn’t ready for it, and he suffered the repercussions with his job. . . . I mean, he lost his livelihood. . . . [It was] tragic, sad, but obviously he was incredibly brave and certainly proud of him, to even know him and what he’s done, because fast forward a few years later and I think we all were like, ‘He obviously was trying to tell us something.'”
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, lip service was paid to the possibility that Kaepernick would finally get a job with an NFL team. But that was never going to happen. The teams that shunned him successfully ran out the clock by feigning interest long enough for people to quit talking about it.
After plenty of false narratives and red herrings, the simplest reason for continuing to ignore Kaepernick comes from the fact that he has been gone from the game for so long — thanks in large part to the efforts of those who wanted to keep him out of the game, permanently.