Colin Kaepernick has not suited up in an NFL uniform in four years.
The embattled quarterback who led the San Francisco 49ers to an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII was in a contract year when he refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem and instead kneeled while the National Anthem was played.
It is believed that Kaepernick has been blackballed by the NFL despite the free agent quarterback getting a workout at Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia in November.
Former New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins linebacker, Junior Galette hasn’t played since 2017 and tells me that he’s been blackballed by the NFL. “I had all my intentions of going to play for the Rams in 2018 as I am very familiar with the coaching staff,” Galette told me via text message last week.
“I had been in direct communication with them; even flew out there but the fix was already in. I didn’t even workout after being in talks directly with the head coach about how excited he and colleagues were to have me. They flew me out and sent me back to my hotel in the midst of me putting my cleats on to workout. Left confused and emotions less i had a feeling of what was going on. The explanation I Got was “for reasons That are out of yours and our control.”
Blackballing and racism has been at the forefront of sports currently in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
Last month, NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell recently issued a video statement denouncing racism on behalf of the NFL.
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” said Goodell.
“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter. I personally protest with you and want to be a part of the much needed change in this country. Without black players there would be no National Football League. And the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality, and oppression of black players, coaches, fans, and staff. We are listening, I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices, and others on how we can move forward together for a better and more united NFL family.”
We hear about blackballing and racism in the NFL. But what about the NBA?
Just last week, Brooklyn Nets point guard, Kyrie Irving organized a conference call with 200 pro-basketball players from both the WNBA and the NBA. While on the call, Irving stated: “I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bullshit …
“Something smells a little fishy. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are targeted as black men every day we wake up.”
Million dollar question: Is there such a thing as being blackballed in the NBA?
“I’ve been blackballed I think. I had control of my destiny. I just can’t blame it all on them because I definitely played a role. I was young in the league and I wanted to – and I was just happy to be there and didn’t care about that we had like 80 –something games; “We losing? Okay. On to the next game.” Like I didn’t understand why everybody’s pouting and have sad faces like we’re not blessed to be here and play the game we love and getting paid millions of dollars… I get that we have to do a better job, we got to start changing stuff around and giving different opportunities. But you know, I’m not the coach, I’m not the GM, I’m not the owner so, it’s outta of my hands. All I have to do is show up. But I do believe that I was blackballed out the league and I’m 36 in the best shape of my life and I can play with the best of the best. I don’t understand why I’m sitting at home on IG Live talking y’all when I should be playing.”
Robinson who currently plays in Ice Cube’s Big 3 basketball league tells me that the last time he got a call from an NBA team was within the last three to four years. “Maybe 2016 or 2017,” he said.
“A couple of teams that I was supposed to try out for; what was it? I think it was Minnesota (Timberwolves)… they offered me a tryout while I was doing the Uncle Drew movie and the cast and everybody said that you should go, but I didn’t know because it was between the hours of making the movie, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity of making this movie but the director said, “If you want to do it, then do it” and the director gave me a couple days off and I respect for that. It was love. I went and I had a great workout – Jamal was there; a lot of NBA players were that was on the team. We had a good run, I shot the ball extremely well and they ended up picking Aaron Brooks, another Seattle legend. So if it wasn’t me, it was him and that’s awesome. He had the opportunity to play through the whole season and did a solid job and I unfortunately had to go overseas that year. It was still cool; I ended up winning the championship over there in Venezuela playing the game that I love so like I said, I’ll go anywhere and play. Not just in the league, but wherever. I’ll play in the Drew League, Dyckman, West 4th Street; like I’m everywhere! I hope to do it all.”
So what’s a tryout like? “Honestly, they just put you through a series of workouts,” he said.
“They’ll push you to the limit to see –they’ll test your wind, they’ll test your jump shot when you’re tired, they’ll run you and get real, real tired and then they’ll make you shoot and do all the drills and the stuff that they want you to do and see how you perform under distress being tired and fatigued. They’ll do that and after that, they’ll just sit down and just talk to afterwards and let you know pretty much what they want you to be all the time; they always do that, and then they’ll do an evaluation and give you a call. If they like you then, they’ll just sign you and tell you to come play and all of that, or you just have to wait a couple days and they’ll say thanks or no thanks and you gotta wait. And then they ask you a series of questions, talk about your previous teams and whatnot and bring up something that happened and they’ll just ask you, ‘Have you learned from either of the previous mistakes that you’ve made in the past and how would you handle it now…’ just little shit.”