Colin Kaepernick hasn’t taken an NFL snap in nearly three years, but the quarterback wants to let the world know: he’s still ready.
Kaepernick, who sparked controversy when he sat and then knelt during the National Anthem before NFL games, posted a video to Twitter on Wednesday showing his commitment to staying in shape in case an opportunity comes knocking.
The video opens with a counter that says, “Denied for work for 889 days.”
It goes on to show the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback working out in the gym. He tells the camera, “5 a.m. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still ready.”
Check out the full video below.
Kaepernick recorded 58 starts during his six-year stint with the 49ers, collecting 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in his career. His last snap under center came in a 25-23 loss to Seattle on Jan. 1, 2017.
History of Colin Kaepernick’s Protests and Activism
At the start of the 2016 season, Kaepernick began the protests against police violence and systemic racism by first sitting and then kneeling during the national anthem.
The decision to go from sitting to kneeling came after the QB had a conversation with Nate Boyer, a former Seahawks player and Green Beret.
“We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” Boyer said during a segment on HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel. “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”
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“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said following his initial protest. “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.”
Kaepernick and Panthers safety Eric Reid — who was one of the first to join the QB in his protest — reached a financial settlement with the NFL in February for their collusion cases against the league, which alleged owners worked together to keep them off the field.
Reid signed a one-year deal with the Panthers in September of 2018 and inked a three-year extension worth more than $22 million this offseason.
While Kaepernick has been relegated to the sideline in his football career, he has done quite the opposite when it comes to his work away from the field.
He’s been honored for his activism with Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award and the Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International.
“(Kaepernick) is an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination,” Salil Shetty, the human rights group’s secretary-general, said in a statement.
Kaepernick has more than 3 million followers on Instagram and actively spreads his message on the platform.
Colin Kaepernick’s Relationship With Nike
Despite not being on an NFL roster, Kaepernick has remained with Nike as one of their feature athletes and brand ambassadors. He was even the centerpiece of a campaign in 2018 with the headline, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
He also voiced Nike’s “Dream Crazy” commercial, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” tagline.
“If people say your dreams are crazy, if they laugh at what you think you can do — good. Stay that way, because what non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult. It’s a compliment,” Kaepernick says in the ad.
Recently, Kaepernick was reportedly an influence in the brand’s decision to cancel the release of its commemorative Fourth of July “Betsy Ross flag” sneakers.
Kaepernick said the design was offensive because it was associated with an era of slavery, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Shortly after expressing his concern, Nike released a statement saying they had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.”