Charlotte, NC - September 18, 2016: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) walks off the field at Bank of America Stadium with his fist up in the air after their game against the Panthers.(Gerry Melendez for ESPN)

The kickoff of the 2017 NFL season is just around the corner and the former 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, still remains a free agent. Kaepernick has been the topic of conversation since he sat and then took a knee during the national anthem last year. He later said he did this to protest the police shootings of black people and general oppression to people of color. Kaepernick’s stand for justice has divided athletes, fans, and decision-makers.

Aside from Michael Vick’s (who later apologized) criticism of Kaepernick’s hair, most people blame the Super Bowl XLVII quarterback’s failing skill level to be the reason why he has not been picked up by a team.

Jacksonville Vice President of Football Operations and former Giants Coach Tom Coughlin, commented on if the Jaguars would consider signing Kaepernick: “No, I didn’t. We did the study and the research and we weren’t interested,” he said. When asked to explain why not, he added, “No, I’m not explaining it.”
Former San Francisco Quarterback and NFL MVP Joe Montana was quoted as saying: “The league has figured out how to defend (the way Kaepernick plays). If I’m playing defense, I want the quarterback to run so I can hit him,” he said.

Kaepernick’s former coach Steve Logan also said, “It has everything to do with his ability to play in the pocket.” 

However, an article written by Fox Sports lists: “The 20 free-agent quarterbacks signed ahead of Colin Kaepernick…” most of whom have a lower completion rate.

In a piece written by Mike Freeman on BleacherReport.com, he states: “The rest genuinely hate him and can’t stand what he did. They want nothing to do with him. They won’t move on. They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did.”

With the election of our new President and hate groups on the loose, it comes as no surprise that some fans’ comments on this topic are purely bred from racism.

Aside from the hate and ignorance, Kaepernick has received a lot of support.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton spoke out and said, “In my opinion, do I think that Kaepernick is better than some of the starting quarterbacks in this league? Absolutely. Should he be on a roster, in my opinion? Absolutely. There is no question about it.”

Denver Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller chimed in on the matter as well: “I think he definitely should be in the National Football League,” he said. “It’s about ‘can you play’ or ‘what can you do for me.’ There’s not 64 quarterbacks that’s better than Colin Kaepernick. That’s just cut and dry. It’s plain and simple.”

Seahawks Defensive End Michael Bennett on the matter: “I don’t think there’s a football reason for why he hasn’t been signed,” he said. “I’ve said this several times. If you look statistically, he had a great year last year. He’s been to the Super Bowl, been to the NFC championship.”

Fans have also taken a stand to support Kaepernick, like this viral video made by Sabrina Thompson as a part of her social series project:

Kaepernick does not seem to be phased by his NFL status; he continues to put his money where his mouth (or knee) is. He has donated $700K of his $1 million pledge to 24 different organizations. Are you kneeling with Kaepernick?

Written By: Danielle Pearman: @DannieOnAir

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