Colin Kaepernick is a name that has been coming up in conversation often in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. As peaceful protests turn to riots and looting, many of the same people who wouldn't stand for Kaepernick kneeling wonder why people can't protest peacefully.
The NFL released a statement on Saturday which was very supportive of those involved and affected, but seemed kind of ridiculous because of how Kaepernick was treated by the league when he tried to address systemic issues using his platform.
Also on Saturday, Joe Lockhart, the former NFL executive vice president in charge of communications and government affairs, wrote a column for CNN where he shed some light on the Kaepernick situation from the league's perspective. He says that commissioner Roger Goodell tried to encourage teams to sign the quarterback while the owners independently decided against giving him a chance because of monetary concerns.
Lockhart also put to bed the B.S. argument that Kaepernick has gone unsigned because he just isn't good enough. Via CNN:
He worked out with several, but no one wanted to sign someone with his obvious talents, even if the consensus was that he'd be a high-quality backup. And football insiders were clear he had more talent than many of the backups in the league.
Kaepernick was not blocked because the league wanted to punish him for setting off the protests. In fact, just the opposite is true. The commissioner and several other league executives spent a lot of effort prodding and pushing owners to sign him.
Lockhart eventually gets around to suggesting the Minnesota Vikings sign Kaepernick to send a message in their community. While Kaepernick would give the Vikings a veteran to contrast the three young backups currently on their roster, who knows how the world would react to Kaep actually returning to the NFL right now.
The Minneapolis police walked off the job when the Minnesota Lynx wore "I Can't Breathe" shirts in 2016. It would actually be a strong message by the Vikings and provide an opportunity for the local police to reach out and work with the community. If everyone involved is serious about making changes and moving forward, this is the kind of thing that could work.