In a new interview, former NFL second-string quarterback and national anthem protester Colin Kaepernick said that without him, the league still isn’t woke enough and hasn’t changed since he last played pro football in 2017.
Speaking to NPR’s Juana Summers, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback said that there had been no “substantial change” for the better to advance his pet social issues even though the league has thrown more than $300 million at community groups, left-wing anti-cop organizations, and other groups that support the exact same issues that Kaepernick pushes with his various charitable efforts and political activism, according to Fox News.
Colin Kaepernick participates in a throwing exhibition during halftime of the Michigan spring football game at Michigan Stadium on April 2, 2022, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Jaime Crawford/Getty Images)
“I haven’t seen any substantial change,” Kaepernick told Summers.
He then hinted that his absence from the NFL has had something to do with that lack of “change.”
“I think there is a lot of work to do on that front. Obviously, not playing and being out of the NFL for six years is an indictment on where they are currently at. So I wouldn’t put them at the forefront of goodwill and best of intentions in how they operate,” he said.
Summers also asked if leaving the NFL in 2017 was a chance for him to do something greater than football.
Kaepernick, though, said he could easily have done both.
“No. I think there’s this idea out there that those are mutually exclusive, and I don’t subscribe to that,” Kaepernick replied. “So I think people are multifaceted and multitalented. And ultimately, that’s something that – we want to make sure that message is being sent as well. We have the opportunity to move forward and not be pigeonholed into singular elements of ourselves.”
Colin Kaepernick arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix’s “Colin In Black And White” at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on October 28, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. (Kevin Winter/WireImage,)
Since leaving the NFL, Kaepernick has repeatedly attacked the league as not woke enough. Indeed, in 2022, he even accused the NFL of acting like “slave masters” in how they treat players.
Still, he was given a tailor-made offer to return to the league in 2019 when the NFL offered him a personal workout that all team recruiters were to attend to consider signing him. But instead of attending the specially arranged workout event, Kaepernick ditched it and then held his own workout, creating a media circus.