His Life Now: Inside Colin Kaepernick’s Long, Inspiring Journey

Should I get a call? Colin Kaepernick is ready.

Absent from the NFL roster for more than three years, the 32-year-old league veteran is waiting, patiently waiting for any team with quick legs, a strong arm and emotional fear to take a chance at a double-threat quarterback Is ready for. Of a leader.

“I still have a desire to play football,” he explained USA Today Sports This past February, some seven years later he led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance. “I still train five days a week. I’m ready to go, I’m ready for phone calls, tryouts, workouts any time. I’m still waiting for the owners and their partners. The situation. So I hope I get this phone. I’m looking forward to it.

He will likely skip “I told you so”.

Four years ago, millions of protesters stepped on the streets of New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Sydney and Seoul, loudly demanding racial justice and how to run police forces, with Northern California’s talented athletes in charge with a silent Were leading , Peaceful gesture.

He performed the dance during the national anthem.

When Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin considered unarmed images, he kneeled unarmed George floydAs the neck he gasps repeatedly, “I can’t breathe,” and protests – both peaceful and destructive – that followed, it’s almost hard to imagine that something so small could provoke such outrage .

And yet, it did. In the words of Kaepernick’s now infamous Nike campaign, he believed in doing something that meant, the systemic oppression of black people was worth a fight, “even if it meant sacrificing everything.”

Colin Kaepernick

Michael Zagaris / San Francisco 49ers / Getty Images

As their opposition grew, the 49ers with safety Eric Reid, Former Nevada teammate Brandon Marshall and other players, including some 27 players on the Ravens and Jaguars, with one knee, were made villains for their views, skewing them as inequality despite all evidence to the contrary I went. Fans burned his jersey and called for a boycott. Donald Trump Took a stern stance against the right of athletes to protest, declaring “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when someone insults our flag, to say,” right now Take out the son of a farm bitch. He has been fired. He has been fired! ”

Kaepernick was, in fact, forced to find a new line of work, effectively being one of the more talented QB options with 72 career touchdowns and a handful of records, despite being blackballed from the league. . Although his stance caused a bit of panic within the league, officials agreed to a $ 89 million fund for the players’ community activism efforts, with any owner taking the chance to sign the first second round pick Was not ready for

He filed a 2017 complaint accusing him of keeping the league and its 32 teams off the field, a confidential 2019 agreement that some thought would be permanent benching. (However, perhaps this could change with the league’s new stance on their movement and their admission that “we were not listening to NFL players before and encouraged everyone to speak out and protest peacefully.”

Entering a second assignment as a civil rights activist, Kaepernick made known his rights camp, an educational non-profit organization whose site announced, “to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities” And dedicated to Kathnick Publications,. Uncover work by people of color.

Among those authors is Kaepernick himself, the University of Nevada graduated to a large-scale advancement to set the trap for his upcoming memoir, to ensure that he has complete control over the narrator. The athlete, who hosted MTV and Hot 97 radio, said, “I had a lot of questions on the issue of protest, which got me to protest.” NessaExplained to USA Today Sports in February. “Why did I do it? Why did I do it at that time? Why wasn’t it earlier in my career? A lot of questions around led me to that point. That led me to share that story and give insight. . “

Colin Kaepernick

Jennifer Cooper / E! entertainment

Why it all seems quite obvious.

In the summer of 2016, the father of five George Floyd was living in Minneapolis as a truck driver and bouncer and Bryo taylor The 23-year-old University of Kentucky had a promising future in medicine – his life was clearly stretched out in front of him. But it was not Alton sterling, Shot by two Baton Rouge police officers on July, Philando Castile, Killed the next day by a cop in Minnesota, Charles KinseyShot by police in Miami, two weeks later and including countless black men and women, no Eric GarnerArrested in 2014 for being arrested on suspicion of selling a single cigarette, due to an arrest. The deaths occurred when Kaepernick, born to a white mother and a black father, who was adopted by a white family, knew he had to use him as a platform to take a stand.

Or a seat, rather.

His decision to remain on the bench during the national anthem on 49 August 14 against the Houston Texas 14 Presidential Matchup did not attract attention. In fact, it wasn’t until their third game against the Green Bay Packers, that NFL.com reporter Steve Witch also spotted the QB between the two coolers and decided to negotiate with them after the post-game conference.

Colin Kaepernick, knee

Via Al Diaz / Miami Herald / TNS Getty Image

“I’m not going to stand to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick explained, noting that he spends a lot of time working through his ideas Were, talking to various members of his family. And educating yourself before pursuing your plan. “To me, it’s bigger than football, and it would be selfish for me to look the other way. There are dead bodies in the street and people are being paid a holiday and getting away with murder.”

He knew that speaking out was risky, that people would react to “The Star-Spangled Banner” and anything representing the American flag. But, he thought, American destruction should not happen The people Is anything stronger?

Choosing not to mention his opposition to anyone in the 49th organization, “I’m not looking for approval. I have to stand up for those who are oppressed,” he said. “If they take away football, my support on my behalf, I know that I have stood up for what is right.”

Which has actually happened a lot.

Although Kaepernick kicked off the regular season with the league’s top-selling jersey, he spent 16 games listening to the rain pouring on him. That did not change even when he announced his intention to donate the first $ 1 million of his $ 11.9 million to the charity, or after he withdrew from sitting to kneel, during a lengthy conversation with Green Beret and Seahawk. Suggested long. Snapper Nate Boyer because, the army veteran put it on HBO Real game, “Soldiers kneel in front of Brother’s grave, you know, to show respect.”

Frustrated that his message was being misinterpreted, Kaepernick explained his stance in a post-September sports interview. He said, “I’m not anti-American. I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing it. I want to help make America better.” “I think having these conversations helps everyone understand where everyone is coming from. It’s important to have those conversations, because the better we understand each other, the more we understand each other. Get to know better, we can behave and communicate with each other better. ” Others, who eventually make everyone, put everyone in a better position. “

Colin Kaepernick, NFL, San Francisco 49ers

Streeter Lekka / Getty Images

All except perhaps Kaepernick. After a disappointing season in which the 49ers scored just two wins and just four interceptions, despite Kaepernick throwing for 15 touchdowns, he dropped out of his contract and was not among the batch of quarterbacks signed to new teams — one. The condition which remained for three years. Despite more than a few professional opinions that he has the chops to take the field.

In a recent CNN op-ed, former league spokesman Joe Lockhart announced that it was possible for team owners to ignore potential financial backlash from ticket holders and sign Kaepernick to a team, with many fans, sports journalists and athletes Have a nice time shared by yourself. Peers of the industry. “I think the reality is that Coleen Kaepernick is a talented football player,” Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Told reporters during a 30-minute zoom call last week (per copy) Seattle Post-Intelligencer). “I remember playing against him. The man could play some football.”

Colin Kaepernick

Todd Kirkland / AP / Shutterstock

In fact, some can still play football – a fact that became apparent during the November tryout.

By refusing to play the ball with the league’s demands that he sign an obligation waiver and cease exercising extensively, Kaepernick spent more than an hour at the Atlanta Falcons’ training facility Transferred the entire operation. Scouts from eight teams targeted crisps, receivers with long passes. And yet their numbers remained uncontrolled.

After the session, he said, “I have been denied for three years. We all know why.” “I came out of here and showed it to everyone today.”

As he has been showing in the fight against police brutality for the past 46 months, his peaceful protest seems all the more poignant in view of yet more deaths this spring.

“The reality was that he was trying to symbolize the oppression that was happening in America, and has been going on for 400 years,” Wilson of Seahawk said in his June session with reporters. “The reality is that what Colin was trying to do was try to do the right thing in an attempt to stand up, figuratively, to what is going on in America …. people even though wrong May have adopted the method, but he was trying to do the right thing. That’s the bottom line. He really has stood up for the black life in so many amazing ways to stand up and keep going and what’s going on And people are being killed. He is oppressed. It is right that he has been. Attempted to do. “

And he says that he will keep doing it as long as necessary.

A new legal defense initiative was taken through their Know Your Rights camp to provide legal representation for the arrested protesters and posted on Instagram that they were preparing to file civil rights cases against the police.

In a May 28 tweet, he wrote, “When sibilty leads to death, rebellion is the only logical response.” “The cry for peace will subside, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back!”

As usual, he is ready to lead the charge.

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