Colin Kaepernick is still a hot topic in the league in 2021 and deserves to be so. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been out of a job since 2017, when he opted out of his contract and became a free agent following a year where he threw for 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions, in addition to rushing for 468 yards and two touchdowns.
This has not gone unnoticed by people in the country, especially those whose families have a long history of fighting against racism. Martin Luther King III is one of those people, recently calling for an NFL boycott as long as Kaepernick is still unsigned.
Luther King III is calling for people to stop watching the league owing to Kaepernick being blackballed.
The industry did blackball him, which is not good,” MLK III says. “He certainly is one of the most talented quarterbacks even today, probably,” he told TMZ.
Kaepernick’s career and issues with the NFL
Colin Kaepernick took the league by storm in 2012, when he became the 49ers’ starter following Alex Smith’s concussion during a regular season game.
With Kaepernick’s rushing ability and his strong arm, Jim Harbaugh decided that even when Smith was back fit, he was going to stick with the newcomer, leading the team to the NFC title that year and another NFC Championship appearance the following year.
Kaepernick’s ability was never in question. Even though he wasn’t a real fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense when the coach arrived in San Francisco, it’s clear that the quarterback had more than enough quality to be signed by a team – any team, really.
But his playing style was never the reason for him being out of a job since 2017. Kaepernick took a knee during the U.S. national anthem before every game during the ’16 season to protest police brutality in the country, especially against Black people, and the backlash against him was extreme.
Donald Trump, then the U.S. president, went as far as to say that the NFL should fire anyone who took a knee during the anthem. Even though Kaepernick’s message has resounded in recent years after a series of racist episodes in America, he remains unsigned since 2017.
He may not be the star who’ll lead his team to the Super Bowl, but to say there’s 64 quarterbacks better than him in the NFL is a little outrageous. Playing ability is not the reason Kaepernick finds himself out of the NFL.
Martin Luther King III’s history
The son of one of America’s most well-known activists, Martin Luther King III has continued his father’s legacy of human rights activism throughout his life.
He’s the former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an African-American civil rights organization, and worked closely with former U.S. president Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential run. As of today, he’s still one of the biggest voices against racism in the United States.