The murder of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police offer Tuesday evening has brought up the entire Colin Kaepernick protest from years ago.
Protesters around the United States continue to take a knee in front of police forces as a way to both honor Mr. Floyd and pay their respects to Kaepernick.
The backdrop here is former NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart indicating on Saturday that the Minnesota Vikings should sign Mr. Kaepernick.
“The situation in Minnesota right now offers a unique opportunity to deal with the symbols of racial injustice,” Lockhart wrote in a column for CNN. “As a small but important step, the owners of the Minnesota Vikings, Zygi and Mark Wilf, can send a strong message by offering Colin Kaepernick a contract to play with the Vikings. Bring him into camp, treat him like any of the other players given a chance to play the game they love.”
The irony of it all. The Vikings signing Kaepernick to back up Kirk Cousins amid the city of Minneapolis being up in flames following Mr. Floyd’s murder.
While that scenario seems highly unlikely, the NFL figured it made sense to respond to Lockhart on Saturday.
“Colin is a free agent,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told Pro Football Talk. “Clubs may sign him if they choose to do so.”
This is obviously a company line the NFL has been pushing since Kaepernick was blackballed by the league following the 2016 season. It came out in full force last year after the Super Bowl signal caller “worked out” for NFL teams.
At this point, the entire situation is drawn out. Kaepernick is highly unlikely to return to the NFL. He’s now more of a civil right figure than a former star quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.