When the Black Lives Matter protests gained steam in early summer, rumors swirled that the NFL would seek to sign former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as an apology for not initially supporting his kneeling protest against police brutality. According to a recent report from Pro Football Talk, however, no NFL teams showed any interest in the prospect.
Citing a source, the report said that any speculation about Kaepernick heroically returning to the NFL as a revived social justice warrior was entirely “fake.”
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, there was some ‘fake’ interest expressed immediately after Floyd’s death, seemingly out of guilt. There has been zero interest expressed as to Kaepernick ‘in months,’” reported the outlet.
“At one point along the way, NFL Media reported that teams had contacted ‘friends and associates’ of Kaepernick and that they would be contacting his agent when they ‘get to the point where they’re confident enough that they think they can work out a contract,’” the report continued.
To further illustrate just exactly how little interest the NFL has in signing Kaepernick, the Eagles plan to pay 41-year-old quarterback Josh McCown “$12,000 per week for what amounts to a no-show, quarantine quarterback job underscores the widespread lack of interest in Kaepernick.”
Though Kaepernick may not be getting signed onto a team anytime soon, his name has certainly been making the rounds in NFL circles. In mid-June, for instance, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he wanted Kaepernick to help “guide” the league on social justice issues.
“Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s going to take a team to make that decision,” Goodell told ESPN. “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that.”
“If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome him to that table and to help us, guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in the communities,” Goodell continued. “We have invited him in before, and we want to make sure that everybody’s welcome at that table and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues that have been around for a long time.”
Goodell added, “But I hope we’re at a point now where everybody’s committed to making long-term, sustainable change.”
In August, Goodell also said that he wished he and Kaepernick were able to have a dialogue over what he was protesting about.
“Well, the first thing I’d say is I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to,” Goodell said. “We had invited him in several times to have the conversation, to have the dialogue. I wish we had had the benefit of that. We never did. And, you know, we would have benefitted from that, absolutely.”