After not seeing action on an NFL field since 2016, quarterback Colin Kaepernick worked out Wednesday for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Many believed that Kaepernick, 34, was blackballed for being a distraction by the league in 2016 after he started kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality. It’s certainly possible, as this was the first meeting with an NFL team he’s had since he chatted with the Seattle Seahawks in May 2017.

“That 2016 season, my last year, my teammates voted me most courageous and inspirational player,” Kaepernick said. “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.”

The workout implies that Raiders owner Mark Davis is keeping the legacy of his late father, Al, alive. The elder Davis was known for giving opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn’t have had them. For example, he hired the NFL’s first African-American head coach in Art Shell and the league’s first female chief executive, Amy Trask.

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!

A week of sports news in your in-box.
We find the sports news you need to know, so you don't have to.

Derek Carr is the incumbent starting QB for the Raiders, who also traded for backup Jarrett Stidham earlier this month. The team also boasts signal-caller Nick Mullens on its roster.

“You have ‘End Racism’ in the back of your end zone,” he said. “You have ‘Black Lives Matter’ on your helmet. Everything I’ve said should be in alignment with what you’re saying publicly. It’s a $16 billion business. When I first took a knee, my jersey went to No. 1. When I did the deal with Nike, their value increased by $6 billion. Six billion. With a B.

“So if you’re talking about the business side, it shows [it’s] beneficial. If you’re talking about the playing side, come in, let me compete. You can evaluate me from there. The NFL’s supposed to be a meritocracy. Come in, let me compete. If I’m not good enough, get rid of me. But let me come in and show you.”

Read more about:

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!