Colin Kaepernick Offered NFL Lifeline After Receiving First Official Workout Opportunity In Six Years
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The Las Vegas Raiders have reportedly reached out to Colin Kaepernick, offering him the chance to workout with them.
According to ESPN, the former quarterback-turned-activist has accepted the offer and will practise alongside starting QB Derek Carr and the rest of the squad next week.
Kaepernick hasn't partaken in an official team training session since the 2016 season, when he was effectively exiled from the league after kneeling during the national anthem.
Now the ex-San Fransisco 49ers star has been given his best chance of returning to the NFL in over six years.
During the 2016 season, Kaepernick made headlines across the globe when the knelt during the pregame national anthem, later confirming that it was in fact a protest against racial and social injustices as well as police brutality in the United States.
The demonstration quickly gained traction as other NFL players began following suit too.
Kaepernick and the 49ers did eventually part ways in ugly fashion with the franchise accused of blackballing him in the process.
Since his absence in the league, the 34-year-old has partaken in public workouts, attracting huge amounts of media attention.
It's understood NFL team scouts did attend, although no formal offers were made.
Now, six years on from his last NFL appearance, the Las Vegas Raiders have given Kaepernick a football career lifeline by offering him an official practise opportunity.
“I believe in Colin Kaepernick,” Raiders owner Mark Davis told NBC Sports Bay Area.
“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.”
Through public campaigns, books and even his own documentary, Kaepernick has continued to use his voice to highlight racial injustices in the U.S.
But while his primary focus is to bring awareness to these social issues, he has also had another dream he hopes to fulfill.
Even at 34, Kaepernick has made no secret of the fact that he wants to return to the NFL, admitting that he's more than happy to be a back-up QB if it means getting a spot on a team.
"I know I have to find my way back in," Kaepernick told the "I Am Athlete" podcast.
"So, yeah, if I have to come in as a backup, that fine. But that's not where I'm staying. And when I prove that I'm a starter, I want to be able to step on the field as such. I just need that opportunity to walk through the door."
During the 2016 season, there were various rumours swirling that Kaepernick's time in the spotlight was a distraction within the 49ers locker room.
Kaepernick has been quick to dismantle that false narrative.
"That 2016 season, my last year, my teammates voted me most courageous and inspirational player," he added.
"So, when you're talking about the people that are in the building, that has never come out that I've been a distraction. That's never come out that I've been an issue for the people I've played with."