Colin Kaepernick could very well make his return to the NFL after the league organised a tryout for his services last weekend. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback came in the spotlight when he chose to kneel during the American national anthem in order to protest against the endemic of police brutality and racial discrimination in the United States. His decision to kneel during the national anthem, however, split public opinion. While many lauded the Milwaukee-born quarterback for his social activism, a number of people ostracised Kaepernick, denouncing his protests as disrespectful to the armed forces.
A look at Colin Kaepernick throwing deep passes at his workout today. pic.twitter.com/qnDbObj37T— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 16, 2019
It all began in an NFL preseason game in 2016. When the national anthem of the United States of America played in the stadium, Colin Kaepernick refused to stand, in protest. The NFL's first reaction was to say that players are encouraged but not required to stand during the national anthem. Kaepernick repeated the same in the following preseason game in San Diego after he chose to kneel during the national anthem. While his protest did receive President Barack Obama's backing, this time, Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL said that he did not agree with what Kaepernick was doing.
When the regular season of the NFL commenced, many players followed Kaepernick's cue, taking a knee and also raising a fist as a sign of protest during the national anthem. The entire Indiana Fever team of the WNBA knelt during the national anthem, before their playoff game against Phoenix Mercury. Colin Kaepernick then continued his protest throughout the season and ended up starting just 11 games, with his team finishing the season with an abysmal record of 2-14.
In March 2017, Kaepernick decides to opt-out of his contract with the 49ers, hoping that a change in venue will result in a change in his situation. There were, however, no offers for the quarterback. While the preseason began without Colin Kaepernick being roped in by any NFL side, the protests continued, bringing with them the ire of the new president of the United States - President Donald Trump.
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
...our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
In October that year, Colin Kaepernick then filed a grievance with the NFL, accusing all 32 owners of colluding to keep him out of the league. After becoming the face of Nike's "Just Do It" campaign and a legal battle with the NFL, the league then reached a settlement with Kaepernick in the grievance case filed earlier. Since then, the NFL has recently organised a tryout of sorts for Colin Kaepernick with a view to bringing him back in the league.