Neither will Colin Kaepernick give up or disappear.
The rapper and friend of Colin Kaepernick, J. Cole, shared on social media on Tuesday a letter that Kaepernick allegedly wrote to Joe Douglas, general manager of the New York Jets, asking the team, which is in dire need of a quarterback, to add him to their practice squad.
Cole stated that he obtained Kaepernick’s consent to release the letter, but only after persuading his friend that the world should know how dedicated Kaepernick is to his work and how much he still aspires to play in the NFL. Insinuating that Cole had their approval, Kaepernick liked the Instagram post, and his longterm partner Nessa Diab shared it on her stories.
which is dated September 21, almost seems lovely. In it, Kaepernick asks Douglas for the chance in a respectful and humble manner and shares his opinions on what the Jets would stand to gain from the trade. The letter also lists four NFL figures who would “vouch for my character, work ethic, and ability”: Jim Harbaugh, the first NFL head coach of Colin Kaepernick; Chip Kelly, a coach with the San Francisco 49ers; John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Ravens; and Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders.
“I would be honoured and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to come in and lead the practice squad.” “My only goal in doing this would be to prepare your defence every week.”
As mobile quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Jalen Hurts were the opponents the Jets faced in Weeks 4-6, Kaepernick pointed out that his presence would provide New York’s defence “a truer read” on how to cover that kind of quarterback.
Kaepernick stated, “This would not put any competitive pressure on Zach [Wilson] and would allow you guys as an organisation to take a real look at where I’m at football-wise, in game-like situations against an elite defence.” “As QB1, I know how important it is to keep him focused and confident, and my only goal in any interactions with him would be to increase his confidence.”
In the worst case,
you see what I have to offer and you’re not that impressed, he continued. In the best-case scenario, you discover that you are equipped with a real weapon in case you need it. In any of these situations, I would wear the duty of preparing your defence as a badge of honour and be dedicated to doing so every week of the season.”
That is logical.
The maximum salary a veteran on the practice squad can receive is $20,600 a week, which is minuscule compensation to give Kaepernick a go and see whether he can deliver.
It was largely a long shot considering Kaepernick hadn’t played in the league since the 2016 season, which was the year before Trevor Siemian, the new QB signee to the Jets practice squad, won his final game as a starter. Siemian’s last start with the Chicago Bears was on November 27, 2022.
This is probably not the first letter that Kaepernick has sent to a team that is trying to find a quarterback; it’s simply the first that we have had a chance to read.
It’s another reminder of what the NFL stole from him, something the league has done its best to erase from many people’s memories through its theatrical acts, such as spray-painting “END RACISM” in end zones (which, strangely, hasn’t resolved the problem) and playing the inspirational song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” prior to the Super Bowl. But problems that plague the league, such as the Rooney Rule and its difficulty hiring black leaders, continue to linger in the background.
The NFL blackballed a Super Bowl-winning quarterback in his prime for being on the correct side of history, for bravely speaking out against injustice using the best platform at his disposal, and for being courageous. just banished him from its purported meritocracy for the offence of—wait, there was no offence—kneeling.
With his letter, 35-year-old Colin
Kaepernick has given his supporters even more reason to respect him—after all, how many others would have given up by now? Despite all the evidence, Kaepernick claims he still gets up early every weekday for three-hour workouts in the weight room and on the pitch, hoping that one organisation will call him with a chance. People with that level of faith are rare.
After filing a collusion grievance against the NFL,
he received money from the league in settlement, and he has made great use of some of those monies through his Know Your Rights Camp and related projects. However, he still yearns to be in the practice field, meeting rooms, and locker rooms as a member of a team.
Some will write it off as a PR stunt,
but all the evidence suggests they’d be mistaken. Since Kaepernick has not been in the public eye much over the previous few years, Cole claimed that he had to convince him to make the letter public.
The realistic part of us understands that Kaepernick has lost any opportunity for a second chance.
However, that doesn’t mean we should ignore what was taken from him or ignore how much he would have liked to try again.