Nearly seven years after his last game, 35-year-old Colin Kaepernick is hinting at a return to the NFL. The controversial playmaker offered himself to the struggling New York Jets via letter. “I would be very grateful for this opportunity,” the American told the club’s technical director.
In 2016, Kaepernick, who is black, became the epicenter of a politically fractured America when he knelt during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality. The then-San Francisco 49ers playmaker angered conservative America. ‘Assholes’ If he had to be fired, President Donald Trump was later angered when Kaepernick’s actions were followed elsewhere.
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Koen van der Velden describes De Volkskrant About sports in the United States. Lives in New York.
No club wanted to burn themselves out with a transfer-free “quarterback” who would never play another game in the NFL. Kaepernick sued the league’s club owners for allegedly conspiring to oust him. The case was settled in 2019 for an undisclosed amount.
Role in team training
His letter to Gates was posted on Tuesday on the Instagram account of rapper friend J. Cole, who Kaepernick said should have convinced him to take the step. The 35-year-old Kaepernick is asking the club for a spot on the practice squad, a group of players who serve as sparring partners for the first team. He wants to help “prepare the defense.”
The Jets started this season with Aaron Rodgers in the starting quarterback position, but the 39-year-old star player tore his Achilles tendon on one of his first plays. His young replacement, Zach Wilson, has not been convincing since then. He recommended Kaepernick in his letter as a possible replacement. “I understand that there are doubts about my abilities,” he wrote. “But the worst case scenario is that you see what I’m about to give you and you don’t like it.”
In recent years, Kaepernick’s name has been bandied about more often when the club needs him. In 2019, the NFL hosted a public workout that showcased Kaepernick. Last year he was allowed to coach with the Las Vegas Raiders. In both cases, Kaepernick’s desired return did not happen.
Kaepernick never stopped
“I never retired or stopped training,” writes the American, who says he still spends a few hours on the training field every morning. In 2013, the dynamic and flamboyant Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
Yesterday’s protest was not discussed in the letter. NFL President Roger Goodell at the time banned the kneeling initiated by Kaepernick, but indicated in 2020, during the Black Lives Matter protests after the killing of George Floyd, that he should have listened better to the protesting players. Kaepernick said earlier this year that he saw little change in the league. “Obviously I haven’t played in six years.”
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