Martin Luther King III said former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be signed by a team of the NFL “overnight” if fans boycotted watching the league (Shutterstock).
Martin Luther King III believes that if fans boycotted watching the NFL, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would get back in the NFL “overnight.”
During an interview with TMZ Sports on September 18, King III said if fans stopped supporting the football league until a new team signs the 31-year-old former quarterback, Kaepernick would receive an offer quickly.
"What would change it overnight is if the public decided, 'Okay, we're not going to watch,'" the human rights advocate told TMZ Sports.
Kaepernick made national headlines after he took a knee during the national anthem during an August 2016 preseason game. His actions started a widespread effort called the #TakeAKnee movement to protest police brutality and racial injustices. During the interview, King III commented that getting Kaepernick back into the league is not that simple.
“But it’s a complicated situation, because what about the guys who are playing?” King III told TMZ Sports. “That’s their jobs, that’s their livelihood, they don’t need to have to stop playing, but by the same token, I would say the majority of them, agree or empathize.”
King III also said the football industry needs to stop “blackballing” Kaepernick and called him “one of the most talented quarterbacks even today, probably."
“There are times when you need a strategic quarterback who has a proven record, and certainly, Colin Kaepernick is one of those," King III said.
Kaepernick, who is currently a free agent, does want to play football again. Chris Williams, an anchor for Sports New York, told the Los Angeles Times a person close to Kaepernick told him: “Colin is literally in the best shape of his life. He’s been working out five days a week at 5 a.m. for three years. He wants to play and his agent has been contacting teams in need of a quarterback.”
In August, Kaepernick shared a post on Twitter with a video of a clock saying that he had been out of work for 889 days.
“5am. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready,” Kaepernick can be heard saying over the montage of him doing training exercises in the video.
A few days after Kaepernick posted his video to Twitter, reporters asked President Donald Trump if the former quarterback-turned-activist should be allowed to play in the NFL again.
"Frankly, I'd love to see Kaepernick come in — if he's good enough," Trump previously told reporters at the White House, according to CNN. "But I don't want to see him come in because somebody thinks it's a good PR move. If he's good enough, he will be in."
"If he's good enough, they'd sign him," Trump continued. "So if he's good enough, I know these people, they would sign him in a heartbeat. They will do anything they can to win games."
Trump has previously criticized Kaepernick and other NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem. Last year, he tweeted that NFL players who kneel during the anthem should be “suspended without pay.”
“The NFL players are at it again — taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love.....,” Trump previously tweeted.
“Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!” he continued.
In October 2017, Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, claiming that the owners of the NFL were colluding to keep him from having a job. He and another NFL player, Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, reached a settlement with the league in February, ESPN previously reported.
Although he has not played in the NFL for quite some time, Kaepernick has kept busy. Wieden + Kennedy and Nike won a 2019 Creative Arts Emmy for outstanding commercial, which Kaepernick starred in. Last year, Nike released its “Dream Crazy” commercial featuring Kaepernick, Serena Williams, and LeBron James for the company’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign, The Oregonian reported. In the commercial, Kaepernick stars and narrates it with an inspiring message, telling viewers to “believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.