It took several years and many more tragic deaths, but many in the NFL sphere are coming around to Colin Kaepernick’s train of thought when it comes to the treatment of the African-American community by law enforcement.
Kaepernick’s stance (or lack of) during the National Anthem before games was his way of shedding light on the subject and it cost him dearly. He has not played in the NFL since 2016 and his name has been a lighting rod of sorts in popular culture.
But Kap’s cause had not fully reached the common American lexicon until this past month when George Floyd died at the hands of the Minneapolis Police. Now, Kaepernick’s cause is front and center and it has become a worldwide, galvanized movement for police reform. Citizens of all races, creeds and colors are banding together to force change.
The NFL’s response was an uneven one at first as pressure from both sides of the issue forced them into a corner. Many saw Kaepernick’s kneeling during the anthem as a rightful protest. But since the anthem and the flag mean many things to many people, detractors didn’t compartmentalize the protest as simply saw the kneeling as a besmirching act.
Three years later, attitudes have changed. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell believes Kaepernick should be welcomed back into the league.
“Listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s gonna take a team to make that decision,” Goodell said. “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that.”
Kaepernick, who was clearly good enough to play in the NFL, is ready to return to the game after what many contend was a blackballing exercise by NFL owners.
Former New York Giants Hall of Famer and current morning show host Micheal Strahan believes the time is right for Kaepernick’s return.
“He should be in the league,” Strahan said, via Bleacher Report. “How do you sit here and say this guy’s not good enough? That’s ridiculous. Just admit what it is. … This guy is good enough, you just don’t want him on your team because you maybe feel he’s a distraction that you can’t handle. I think it’s a win for whatever team has the cajones to sign the guy.”
Recently, the Giants were listed as a team that “makes sense” for Kaepernick, but to date, they have not expressed any public interest.