Kaepernick 'still ready' to play in the NFL again

Colin Kaepernick tweeted on Wednesday that he has not played in the National Football League for 889 days.
Colin Kaepernick tweeted on Wednesday that he has not played in the National Football League for 889 days.

LOS ANGELES • Former National Football League (NFL) player Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling protest during the pre-game United States national anthem became a national issue, reminded owners and coaches on Wednesday he was waiting for a chance to return.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback tweeted: "5 am 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready", along with a video of him working out in a gym and lifting weights, and a counter noting he has not been in the NFL for 889 days since opting out of his contract for free agency in March 2017.

His move comes as teams are conducting training camps to test talent at various positions for the season that starts next month.

In 2016, Kaepernick, who is biracial, began a kneeling protest during the US anthem as a way to protest perceived US police brutality and racial injustice.

In September 2017, the wider social justice movement he had sparked became a target of criticism from US President Donald Trump. He labelled any player who knelt a "son of a b****" and demanded those who did be fired for insulting the nation and its military.

The following month, Kaepernick and former 49ers teammate Eric Reid, who has since signed a three-year deal with the Carolina Panthers, filed collusion grievances against the NFL, saying there was collusion against them.

Both grievances were settled six months ago with the Wall Street Journal reporting the pair received less than US$10 million (S$13.8 million) in the settlement.

The protests slowed down last season after the NFL made contributions to organisations chosen by players and promised more attention to social justice issues.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2019, with the headline 'Kaepernick 'still ready' to play in the NFL again'. Print Edition | Subscribe