Colin Kaepernick Works Out For Las Vegas Raiders

Colin Kaepernick has become an activist and a mythic figure for some people in this country. And he’s become a focus of disgust for other people.

Now we find out if he’s still a football player.

Kaepernick, who has not worked out for an NFL team since his 2017 release from the San Francisco 49ers, will work out for the Las Vegas Raiders later this week, according to ESPN.

OutKick has been told the workout is Wednesday.

And so after many years in which the polarizing player said he was staying in shape despite being “blackballed” from the league — he’s also contended other players were being blackballed — the chance to make a new mark on a football field has arrived.

Kaepernick, 34, has not played since 2016.

He has a career 59.8 completion percentage with 70 TD passes and 30 interceptions.

But, despite the fact he was a starting quarterback in a Super Bowl in the 2012 season, it’s not been mostly about football with Kaepernick.

He began kneeling during the national anthem in the preseason of the 2016 season to protest what he said was a systemic inequality for black people in the country. The move was largely spurred by police violence against black people.

“I cannot stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said in 2016.

That started a movement of sorts that caused other NFL players and athletes throughout sports to kneel in protest during the national anthem.

Kaepernick also has no love lost for police and the prison system in this country.

“Reform, at its core, preserves, enhances, and further entrenches policing and prisons into the United States’ social order,” Kaepernick wrote. “Abolition is the only way to secure a future beyond anti-Black institutions of social control, violence, and premature death.”

Kaepernick explained that he wants to replace institutions like police and prisons with “transformative and restorative processes that are not rooted in punitive practices.

“By abolishing policing and prisons, not only can we eliminate white supremacist establishments, but we can create space for budgets to be reinvested directly into communities to address mental health needs, homelessness and [homelessness], access to education, and job creation as well as community-based methods of accountability,” he wrote.

Why is this a focus? Well, NFL teams have obviously decided Kaepernick has been every bit as devoted to his political views and activism as to the game. And because the NFL is a money-making venture, teams might also have considered that Kaepernick is a divisive figure among fans — with some supporting his views and others not.

That obviously is not a concern for the Raiders, unless they’re simply doing this as a publicity stunt, which is unlikely.

The fact is Las Vegas has significant quarterback questions behind starter Derek Carr.

The team has Nick Mullens, Jarrett Stidham, who was recently acquired in trade from New England, and Chase Garbers on the roster as backups.

The Raiders, a team with designs on contending for the playoffs and beyond, are obviously wanting to upgrade at backup quarterback to ensure an injury to Carr does not crash the season.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

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