The Seattle Seahawks canceled Colin Kaepernick’s workout on Thursday when the polarizing quarterback refused to assure team officials that he would stand for the playing of the national anthem this autumn. In response, less than 24 hours later, the Seahawks signed journeyman signal-caller Stephen Morris to backup four-time Pro Bowler Russell Wilson.
The 30-year-old Kaepernick threw 72 touchdowns, against 30 interceptions, for 12,271 yards in 69 games as a San Francisco 49er. Kaepernick also compiled 2,300 yards and 13 scores on 375 rushes. Kaepernick, who San Francisco chose out of Nevada with the 36th selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, opted out of his contract with the 49ers on March 3, 2017. Over the past 13 months, an array of middling passers have found employment in the league. However, Kaepernick is jobless and stuck with a dearth of suitors for his services. Bleacher Report published an article claiming that 70 to 90 percent of the league’s general managers “hate” Kaepernick because of his political views.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick, who first kneeled during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in an August 2016 preseason game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Sports have long served as a mirror or reflection of society and some of its heaviest issues. Now, with the United States embroiled in social unrest, Kaepernick has become a pariah for protesting police brutality and perceived inequalities in our justice system against African-Americans and minorities. Kaepernick filed a lawsuit against NFL owners for collusion in October 2017. The grievance remains unresolved and Colin Kaepernick’s future as a professional football player looks bleaker than ever.