Colin Kaepernick holds first NFL workout since 2017
Free-agent quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick, whose career was halted in 2016 after leading racial justice protests, has reportedly completed his first workout with a league team since 2017.
Kaepernick is well acquainted with the Las Vegas area, having played college football at the University of Nevada before getting drafted into the NFL in 2011.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said last month that he would welcome Kaepernick “with open arms” to his team, but adding the decision lies with the Raiders’ coaches and executives.
“I believe in Colin Kaepernick,” Davis said in an interview with NBC’s Sports Bay Area affiliate. “He deserves every chance in the world to become a quarterback in the National Football League. I still stand by it. If our coaches and general manager want to bring him in or want him to be the quarterback on this team, I would welcome him with open arms.”
Kaepernick recently said he has “unfinished business” in the league during an appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast. It’s been five years since Colin Kapernick has played professional football.
“You had those dreams from when you’re a kid. I’m [gonna] be a NFL player and I’m gonna win a Super Bowl. And for me, I have unfinished business on that front,” Kaepernick told the hosts.
The Raiders, who were once owned by Davis’s father, Al Davis, have a well-documented history of giving minorities a chance to succeed in the league, hiring the first Latino and Black head football coaches in history in Hall of Famers Tom Flores and Art Shell. The team also hired Amy Trask to be the first women chief executive in the league’s modern history.
The Raiders inked star quarterback Derek Carr to a three-year extension earlier this year and have backup quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Nick Mullens on their current depth chart, ESPN noted.
Kaepernick, who played professionally for the San Francisco 49ers, sparked controversy in 2016 for kneeling during the national anthem at multiple games to raise awareness on police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S.
Former President Trump referred to Kaepernick’s protest in a 2017 speech at a rally where he called on league owners to punish players who protested during the national anthem.
The league, which has pushed a more social justice/activism agenda since Kaepernick’s protest, tried to conduct a league-wide workout for Kaepernick in 2019 but he backed out over a waiver the league wanted him to sign and staged his own workout at a high school football field.
Kaepernick, who recently received an honorary degree from Morgan State University, also settled a grievance with the NFL in 2019 for $10 million, alleging that the league colluded to keep him unsigned due to his political beliefs and views.
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