Colin Kaepernick says he’s still training several days a week with hopes of returning to the NFL.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback hasn’t played in the football league since 2016 after he kneeled during the national anthem to bring attention to racial injustice and police brutality in the U.S.
In 2017, CBS News reports Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers when it appeared the team would be cutting him during the offseason. He later alleged that NFL owners collaborated to keep him out of the league over his protests.
Kaepernick has since remained unsigned despite NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying last June that the league was “wrong” for not listening to NFL players speaking out about racism and the systematic oppression of Black people.
“We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter. I personally protest with you and want to part of the much-needed change in this country,” added Goodell in a video statement made at the height of the nation’s racial awakening in the summer of 2020.
Still, it appears Kaepernick remains hopeful he can return to the field.
In a recent interview with Sunny Hostin for Ebony magazine, “The View” co-host asked Kaepernick if he had given up on his dream of returning to the NFL. Hostin wrote that the question made him tense up and his demeanor changed.
Kaepernick responded, saying he “absolutely” still ready to play in the league, adding that he is still up at 5 a.m. training five to six days a week to make sure he’s prepared to take a team to a Super Bowl again. He previously led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, but they were defeated by the Baltimore Ravens.
The athlete told Hostin, “That’s not something I will ever let go of, regardless of the actions of 32 teams and their partners to deny me employment. The same way I was persistent in high school is the same way I’m gonna be persistent here.”
While he’s not playing football professionally at the moment, Kaepernick is staying busy with multiple projects, including running a youth camp and producing a Netflix series based on his teenage years. “Colin in Black & White” premieres on the platform on Oct. 29 and reportedly delves into race, class, and culture.