Home Play by Mail Colin Kaepernick says he really wants to play in the NFL again as he gives first on camera in years

Colin Kaepernick says he really wants to play in the NFL again as he gives first on camera in years

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Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick reveals he’s desperate to return to the NFL nearly six years after becoming the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem.

Kaepernick, speaking exclusively with I am an athletesaid he was “absolutely” and “without a doubt” ready to return to the league after not throwing a pass in the pros since January 1, 2017.

“It’s been five years of training behind the scenes to make sure I’m ready at the highest level,” Kaepernick said in a candid interview after a practice session with former NFL wide receivers Chad Johnson and Brandon Marshall.

“You don’t do this if you don’t have a passion and believe you will find a way in this,” he added. “I know I have to find my way back. If I have to come as reinforcements, that’s fine. This is not where I live.

Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013, hasn’t played in the league since the 2016 season, when he first took a knee to protest racial inequality and discrimination. police brutality.

His controversial act of protest inspired many athletes to take a knee during the national anthem and was an icon of the Black Lives Matter movement. However, his activism was not welcomed by all and sparked a heated nationwide debate, during which some of his own fans set his shirt on fire.

Following the controversy, the NFL in 2018 issued a ruling prohibiting players from sitting or kneeling while singing or playing The Star-Spangled Banner before games. Although the decision was never officially overturned, no players were disciplined for kneeling, and in 2020 league commissioner Roger Goodell promised to support players who protest peacefully.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick reveals he is desperate to return to the NFL nearly six years after becoming the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem

Kaepernick hasn't played in the league since the 2016 season, when he first took a knee to protest racial inequality and police brutality.  He is pictured on September 1, 2016, the first time he took a knee during the national anthem

Kaepernick hasn’t played in the league since the 2016 season, when he first took a knee to protest racial inequality and police brutality. He is pictured on September 1, 2016, the first time he took a knee during the national anthem

Kaepernick, 34, told I Am Athlete that although his professional career has been on hold since January 2017, his passion for the game and desire to play in the NFL still burns.

‘I’ve had these dreams since I was a kid. I’m going to be an NFL player – and win the Super Bowl,” he said. “For me, I have unfinished business on that front.”

The quarterback acknowledged his act of protest had a huge impact on his career and is asking franchises and team leaders to see him as a “team player without distractions.”

“The narrative that was out there was, oh, you know it’s going to be a media circus. What else comes with it? Kaepernick explained in the interview, which was promoted Monday on hello america.

He called out the league saying, “Let me come in, compete, show you what I can do.”

The free agent’s full interview with I Am Athlete will be released Monday at noon.

Kaepernick, speaking exclusively with I Am Athlete, said he was

Kaepernick, speaking exclusively with I Am Athlete, said he was “absolutely” and “definitely” ready to return to the league, noting that he had “five years of backstage training for his to ensure that I am ready at the highest level”. ‘

“You don’t do this if you don’t have a passion and believe you will find a way in this,” he said in the interview. “I know I have to find my way back. If I have to come as reinforcements, that’s fine. This is not where I stay’

Although Kaepernick hasn’t played pro, the quarterback has kept busy.

He has launched a new Netflix series, titled Colin in Black and White, which chronicles his formative years navigating issues of race, class and culture, while aspiring to be a great athlete.

Kaepernick landed on USA Today's bestseller list for her children's book, I Color Myself Different, which was released earlier this month.

Kaepernick landed on USA Today’s bestseller list for her children’s book, I Color Myself Different, which was released earlier this month.

He also starred in a lucrative Nike ad and landed on USA Today’s bestseller list for his children’s book, I Color Myself Different, which was released earlier this month.

The book, inspired by events in Kaepernick’s own life, is about “self-discovery, staying true to yourself, and advocating for change” even as a child.

Also earlier this month, he participated in a throwing exhibition in front of several NFL scouts at halftime at the University of Michigan Spring Game.

He threw passes to eight free agents and draft-eligible receivers at halftime on April 2.

He had also participated in two Michigan practices and was named honorary captain for the spring game.

Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara said M live after the show: ‘I’ve thrown with him a few times this week, and the dude has a rocket. He can throw it for sure. He was only respectful to me.

Kaepernick was invited by Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh to participate in the event.

Kaepernick on April 2 participated in a throwing demonstration in front of several NFL scouts at halftime during the Spring Game at the University of Michigan.

Kaepernick on April 2 participated in a throwing demonstration in front of several NFL scouts at halftime during the Spring Game at the University of Michigan.

He threw passes to eight free agent receivers at halftime on April 2.  He also participated in two Michigan practices and was named honorary captain for the spring game.

He threw passes to eight free agent receivers at halftime on April 2. He also participated in two Michigan practices and was named honorary captain for the spring game.

Kaepernick, who hasn’t found a team to sign him since 2017, was among the first players to take a knee during the US national anthem pre-game to protest police brutality.

He filed a grievance against the NFL in 2017, alleging collusion because no team signed him after his split with the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick and the NFL settled in 2019.

The 34-year-old sparked renewed interest in the summer of 2020 when the NFL said it would welcome Kaepernick back, but left the decision up to its member clubs whether to sign him. Neither team chose to do so.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in March that he recently spoke with Kaepernick, who expressed interest in another shot at quarterbacking in the NFL.

However, Carroll warned at the time that if Kaepernick had that opportunity it might not be in Seattle, but said, “I think he’s doing it somewhere.”

Kaepernick, who hasn't found a team to sign him since 2017, was among the first players to take a knee during the US national anthem pre-game to protest police brutality.  He is pictured kneeling alongside two of his former 69ers teammates

Kaepernick, who hasn’t found a team to sign him since 2017, was among the first players to take a knee during the US national anthem pre-game to protest police brutality. He is pictured kneeling alongside two of his former 69ers teammates

His controversial act of protest sparked a heated nationwide debate, in which some of his own fans set fire to his shirt.

His controversial act of protest sparked a heated nationwide debate, in which some of his own fans set fire to his shirt.

Kaepernick played in 69 games during his NFL career.  He took over as the 49ers' starting quarterback in the 2013 season and led San Francisco to a Super Bowl appearance (pictured).  The 49ers fell to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31 in the championship game

Kaepernick played in 69 games during his NFL career. He took over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback in the 2013 season and led San Francisco to a Super Bowl appearance (pictured). The 49ers fell to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31 in the championship game

“I don’t know if it’s here. I do not know where it is. I don’t know if it’s even in football. I don’t know,” Carroll said. “People have a second opportunity in their lives…and they can make the most of it if they’re ready.

“I don’t want to send mixed messages about this. But I wanted you to understand that is how serious it is. It’s the second chance.

Kaepernick has also apparently trained with former and current professional footballers.

He posted on social media in March looking for wide receivers to throw with, an offer echoed by Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett.

Lockett had caught passes from the quarterback just days before Carroll made his second chance remarks.

Kaepernick played in 69 games during his NFL career. He took over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback in the 2013 season and led San Francisco to a Super Bowl appearance.

The 49ers fell to the Baltimore Ravens 34–31 in the championship game.