How Colin Kaepernick ended up having the last laugh despite being blackballed by NFL teams

Colin Kaepernick
Former NFL QB-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick became a polarizing figure in the NFL when he took a knee during the National Anthem back in 2016. He last played in the league back in the 2016-17 season for the San Francisco 49ers. Since then, many teams have likely blackballed him for taking a knee. Kaepernick sued the NFL, claiming teams were colluding against him.

In the end, both the league and Kaepernick reached an agreement regarding the lawsuit. It's important to note that the NFL's willingness to concede any ground is significant, if not landmark. In short, a settlement equates to a defeat in this case for the NFL. After the settlement was announced in February 2019, both legal counsels released a joint statement.

Both parties said:

“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement, so there will be no further comment by any party.”

A major reason the former NFL quarterback is no longer employed in the league is because most shunned him out.

The role of NFL owners in the blackballing of Colin Kaepernick

NFL owners supposedly resented Kaepernick for his actions - ultimately blackballing him. There might not have been a document with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s signature declaring not to sign him. However, the message made it loud and clear that Kaepernick’s benefits no longer exceeded his cost.


In the prime of his career, Colin Kaepernick was better than most quarterbacks, but not to the degree of enduring the fallout from kneeling. However, there was one NFL owner who felt that he was worthy of another chance in the league. Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis said back in April that he deserves a second chance.


Davis said:

“Listen, I believe in Colin Kaepernick, and he deserves every chance in the world to become a quarterback in the National Football League. I still stand by it. If our coaches and general manager want to bring him in or want him to be the quarterback on this team, I would welcome him with open arms.”

Ultimately, the Raiders were the lone NFL team to give the former San Francisco 49ers star a workout before the season. Yet, the team didn't offer him a contract and he is still a free agent. However, history will remember when Colin Kaepernick beat the NFL in its own game.

If you use any of the above quotes, please credit Sports Illustrated and H/T Sportskeeda.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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