Colin Kaepernick divides opinion among many NFL fans. There are those who believe his refusal to stand up for the national anthem before a preseason game was him simply exercising his right to protest, and there are others who believe that he is a disgrace to the sport and his country.
However, one thing that cannot be denied is that he is a talented player, and its a shame that he is now a free agent now due to a peaceful protest.
For those that are unaware, Kaepernick refused to stand for the American national anthem during a pre-season game in 2016, and it sparked outrage across social media. Speaking to the media about his protest, Kaepernick said:
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.
"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder"
The story continued to develop throughout the season, with other players joining Kaepernick in his protest and either kneeling or raising their fist during the national anthem to show support with the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the quarterback, who had received abuse and death threats online because of his protest.
However, Kaepernick refused to stop his protest, and speaking to the press later in the season, he said that he would continue to do so until he could see significant change.
"Yes, I'll continue to sit. I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change.
"When there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."
Due to his controversial protest, Kaepernick's jersey quickly became the most sold in the NFL, while he was also the least popular player in the sport. But, despite many people believing he deserves the treatment he received, one NFL legend has called on the quarterback to be allowed a return to the sport.
Tom Brady, who is arguably the most famous player in NFL history, has called on a team to take a chance on Kaepernick due to his talents in the sport. When asked if he sees the player returning to the NFL, Brady said:
"I certainly hope so."
"I’ve always watched him and admired him, the way that he’s played,"
"He was a great young quarterback, he came to our stadium and beat us, and took his team to the Super Bowl in 2012. He accomplished a lot in the pros, as a player, and he’s certainly qualified. I hope he gets a shot.”
It's good to see Brady back a fellow professional who is being treated unfairly due to his personal opinion, which in the grand scheme of things, has done no harm to anyone whatsoever. According to a variety of media sources, there are plenty of teams looking at Kaepernick and no doubt as the season goes on and players pick up injuries, we will see him adorn a team's jersey once again.