By: Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports Reporter
We’re a couple weeks into training camp and Colin Kaepernick remains a free agent, and it’s unclear if that will change in the coming weeks and months.
One explanation for Kaepernick’s current situation: He hasn’t been very good in recent seasons. Another take is that Kaepernick is being blackballed for his stance on social-justice issues. That’s why there will be a rally at NFL headquarters in Manhattan on Aug. 23 to support the embattled quarterback, according to a tweet from filmmaker Spike Lee.
This comes three months after Kevin Livingston, the president of 100 Suits for 100 Men — one of the organizations Kaepernick worked with earlier this year — organized a “stand up” outside the NFL’s New York City headquarters as a show of solidarity with the quarterback.
“He stood up for us,” Livingston told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein at the time. “It’s only right that he took our issues in our communities and brought it to a national level and sacrificed salary and being ostracized by the NFL. It was only right that we stand up for him. I started this, literally, when he came to my office — I was moved. I work with parolees. People usually want to ostracize this particular population. Me working with him on the front lines and him coming to my office, this is not the first time I’ve worked with him. So I thought it was only right that I stand up for him.”
“We’re not protesting,” Livingston continued. “This is not anti-NFL. This is not going against the police. What we’re doing exactly is we’re showing solidarity to the league on behalf of Colin Kaepernick. This is nothing planned by him. This is all me. Others have suggested that Kaepernick’s supporters boycott attending and watching NFL football games until he is employed by one of the teams.
“But I have to say, Colin Kaepernick really moved me when he did that for our community. And so … the reason why I chose [NFL headquarters] is the league needs to see that Colin is being supported. And that we’re buying consumers and that our dollars matter and I don’t think it’s fair the way he’s being treated by the league. I just want to make that very clear.”
Kaepernick, who played for the 49ers from 2011-2016, began last season on the bench behind Blaine Gabbert, but was reinserted into the starting lineup in mid-October. When it was over, he had started 11 games and completed 59.2 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed 69 times for 468 yards and two scores. But according to Football Outsiders’ metrics, Kaepernick ranked 30th among all quarterbacks, just ahead of Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiler and Jared Goff.
The Seahawks showed interest in Kaepernick in May, and the Ravens appeared to close to signing him earlier this month. Nothing materialized and Kaepernick is still looking for his next opportunity.