If there was any doubt that the NFL’s new social justice partnership with Jay-Z was forged without the input of Colin Kaepernick, someone close to him is confirming it.
TMZ reported early Wednesday that Jay-Z spoke with Kaepernick before making the deal with the NFL official, but Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab called that a “lie,” sharing excerpts from other stories that dispute TMZ’s reporting.
— NESSA (@nessnitty) August 14, 2019
It’s pretty clear that Kaepernick and those close to him would’ve liked for him to weigh in on the partnership. And if there was any doubt about whether he’s been involved or approves, another player close to Kaepernick made his negative feelings clear, too.
Despite very publicly disagreeing with Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem, US President Donald Trump says he believes an NFL team should sign the quarterback for the 2019 season with one important caveat — he has to be good enough.
A reporter asked Trump about Kaepernick on Friday, and the president said he would “love to see Kaepernick come in if he’s good enough.”
President Trump on if Colin Kaepernick should get an opportunity to play in the NFL: “Only If he’s good enough. I know the owners, I know Bob Kraft. They will do anything they can to win games”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 9, 2019
“I don’t want to see him come in because somebody thinks it’s a good PR move,” Trump said. “If he’s good enough, he will be in.”
Trump added that he knows many NFL owners personally and that they would sign Kaepernick “in a heartbeat” if he was good enough to be on a roster. Of course, many people believe Kaepernick has been out of the league since 2016 because owners disagree with his political views or fear potential backlash.
In the past, Trump has said NFL players who kneel during the national anthem should be cut by their respective teams. He also bragged about his supposed role in Kaepernick not being signed, so even saying he would like to see him in the NFL “if he’s good enough” is a change in tone.
Colin Kaepernick was at the center of a Nike ad spot that became extremely popular after airing at the start of the NFL season last year, and the commercial has been nominated to win a 2019 Emmy.
The 2019 Emmy nominations were announced on Tuesday, and Nike’s “Dream Crazy” ad has an opportunity to take home the award for Outstanding Commercial. The Nike ad, which is narrated by Kaepernick, also features sports icons Serena Williams, LeBron James and Shaquem Griffin. You can see it below:
Nike to air new “Dream Crazy” commercial with Colin Kaepernick during tonight’s NFL season opener between Eagles and Falcons.pic.twitter.com/toLVB57shL
— LeadingNFL (@LeadingNFL) September 6, 2018
Nike received plenty of backlash last year for using Kaepernick to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” slogan, but the social media numbers indicated it was a smart move. An Emmy nomination doesn’t hurt, either.
There was a familiar face sitting near the Golden State Warriors’ bench during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Monday night in Portland.
Fans and some media members spotted former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting next to the scorer’s table:
Colin Kaepernick at the game pic.twitter.com/VRBT0qwFTZ
— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 21, 2019
— Dylan (@DylansRawTake) May 21, 2019
Kaepernick, best known for protesting during the national anthem in the 2016 NFL season to bring attention to social inequality and racial injustice, has mostly avoided headlines the last few months. He and Eric Reid settled their collusion case with the NFL in February, leading to reports that he would likely make an NFL return in the future.
The 31-year-old was a star basketball player in high school, in addition to his success in baseball and football.
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid continues to stand by Colin Kaepernick.
Reid responded Friday to a Q&A on the Panthers’ website asking if Carolina would sign Kaepernick. Writer Bill Voth characterized it as unlikely, stating that there are questions to what Kaepernick can do while citing him losing his job to Blaine Gabbert in 2016 as evidence that he had slipped as a quarterback.
Reid strongly objected to this characterization and defended his former San Francisco teammate on Twitter.
He didn’t lose his job to Blaine. He was coming off of three surgeries and needed more time to heal. Once healed, he started again. No more false narratives in 2019 please. He’s in the best shape of his life, and ready to help win a championship. https://t.co/8CTlgDrMYR
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) February 22, 2019
PS I have his number if y’all need it! pic.twitter.com/KV8TwfPDxB
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) February 22, 2019
Reid and Kaepernick are forever linked as the two players who prominently knelt during the national anthem early on. Now that the former San Francisco quarterback has settled his collusion case against the NFL, there is some belief that a return to the league is more likely than ever. Reid, for one, is quite eager to see it happen, but it remains unclear how realistic it is and how interested any teams would be.
Colin Kaepernick and the NFL put their differences aside (at least from a legal standpoint) last week when they agreed to a massive settlement. Now that the quarterback is no longer suing the league, could the next step be him returning to the field?
According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, Kaepernick’s chances of being signed by an NFL team are “higher now than at any time since he opted out of his deal with the Niners almost two years ago.” The settlement has a lot to do with that, but Freeman also notes that NFL owners no longer fear repercussions from Donald Trump. Even after the president blasted the league and its players for disrespecting the American flag, NFL ratings were better in 2018 than they were the previous season. That has eased the concerns of team owners who might consider signing a polarizing player like Kaepernick.
Kaepernick’s lawyer recently predicted either the Patriots or the Panthers will sign the 31-year-old, but Freeman says the chances of Kaepernick winding up in New England are virtually zero. Carolina, however, is an intriguing option given Cam Newton’s shoulder troubles and the fact that they recently signed Eric Reid to a contract extension.
While Kaepernick’s role in national anthem protests has obviously played a huge role in him remaining unsigned, he has now been out of football for two years. That will hurt his chances even further. If Kaepernick is still unable to find work, the reported financial details of his settlement with the NFL are a reminder that he will have no problem putting food on the table.
Was the settlement between Colin Kaepernick and the NFL the first step in the quarterback’s return to the field? It sounds like that may be the case.
Kaepernick’s lawyer Mark Geragos was on CNN Saturday and predicted that a team will step up and sign his client. He named the Carolina Panthers, whose starter Cam Newton is coming off shoulder surgery, as one contender. He mentioned the New England Patriots as another possibility.
Colin Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos told CNN he is predicting Kaepernick will sign a contract with either the Carolina Panthers or the New England Patriots. Geragos also referenced a possible third team but never named the team. pic.twitter.com/9Kre3BfNak
— Jill Martin (@ByJillMartin) February 17, 2019
Geragos mentioned a third team as a possibility, saying Kaepernick’s former coach could be interested. That one is harder to figure out considering both Jim Harbaugh and Chip Kelly are back in college, though he may be talking about one of the assistants.
What would make the Panthers a fit? They already showed a willingness to look beyond the kneeling by signing Eric Reid, plus they could use a solid backup with Newton returning from his shoulder injury. The Patriots have also shown a great willingness in the past to sign controversial players, like Tim Tebow and Chad Johnson to name a few. If anyone can keep the media in line and handle the situation well, it’s Bill Belichick. But would they want that when they’re coming off a Super Bowl win? Maybe not.
Kaepernick’s return will be highly intriguing. He has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season and on Friday announced that he had settled his collusion case with the league.