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Is Colin Kaepernick being blackballed by the NFL?

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On August 26, 2016, the entire country went into shock when Colin Kaepernick, then starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, chose to sit down during the pre-game national anthem. Many people were confused, and many were angry, but everyone was looking for an explanation, and they got one.

After gaining national attention, the 49ers released a statement later that night confirming that Kaepernick had chosen to sit during the national anthem, but left it up to him to explain his decision.

Two days later, Colin Kaepernick addressed the media, citing the systematic oppression of African Americans in the United States as the reason for his protest.

“There’s a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality. There’s people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That’s not right. That’s not right by anyone’s standards… I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change,” Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick made good on his promise, and he continued to sit during the national anthem for the remainder of his season. Many people were outraged, calling the quarterback “unpatriotic” and “disrespectful” for choosing not to stand. However, a great deal of people saw him as a hero and offered praise for his bravery.

In fact, Kaepernick sparked a trend of sitting or kneeling during the national anthem in solidarity with African Americans in the United States across the NFL, as well as the NBA, MLB, MLS, and many other professional and youth sports leagues.

Soon after the controversy, the 49ers decided to move Kaepernick to 2nd string quarterback, and he was eventually released by the team earlier this month.

Given that Kaepernick is a fairly high-performing athlete and quarterback, one would expect that he would have at least one offer from an NFL team by now, but that isn’t the case.

The quarterback has not received a single contract offer from any NFL teams in the past month, forcing him to remain a free agent.

This past year, Kaepernick was ranked 17th in NFL passer rating, which is quite impressive for a quarterback who underwent three surgeries before the start or the 2016-17 season, so it is a bit odd that Kap is still looking for a job.

Much speculation has been thrown into the media as to why the quarterback still hasn’t been signed, and every excuse that is offered ends up being more ridiculous than the others.

Some have suggested that his vegan diet may not sit well with coaches and trainers, while others are just saying that he needs to find the right fit for him.

However, many experts think that there is an alternate explanation. Even Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, a long-time rival of Kaepernick’s, had something to say on the issue.

When asked if he thought Colin Kaepernick was being blackballed by NFL owners and teams, the cornerback from Seattle agreed:

“I’m sure he is. It’s difficult to see because he’s played at such a high level, and you see guys, quarterbacks, who have never played at a high level being signed by teams. So it’s difficult to understand,” he told the media.

“Obviously he’s going to be in a backup role at this point,” said Sherman. “But you see quarterbacks, there was a year Matt Schaub had a pretty rough year and got signed the next year. So it has nothing to do with football. You can see that. They signed guys who have had off years before.”

Still, there are a few possible new homes for this ESPY award winning athlete. Many experts and sports analysts are predicting that Kaepernick will sign with the Dallas Cowboys, who just recently lost their veteran quarterback, Tony Romo, to retirement. Other potential teams that have been thrown into the mix include the Cleveland Browns, the Los Angeles Rams, and the Buffalo Bills.

Hopefully, the rumour about the NFL blackballing Colin Kaepernick because of his activism for African Americans in the United States are proven false, so that this decorated quarterback can continue his career at a new home.

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The official student news site of Springbrook High School.
Is Colin Kaepernick being blackballed by the NFL?