Martin Luther King III says Kaepernick has been blackballed by NFL, calls for league's boycott till a team signs him
With multiple teams currently hunting for quarterbacks in the wake of injuries to their existing players, Kaepernick has expressed an active interest in pursuing those vacancies.
Martin Luther King III has called for a boycott of the NFL until one of the league's 32 team signs quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Reports state that the player's controversial reputation might be getting in the way of him being taken on by any of the teams. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem as a protest against racism and police brutality in 2016. He has remained a free agent ever since.
Speaking to TMZ, King III said: "What would change it overnight is if the public decided, 'Okay, we're not going to watch." The NFL's ratings had gone down by 17 percent in 2016 and 2017 after multiple players also joined the protest. The NFL, however, noted a 5 percent increase in 2018.
Kaepernick hasn’t played a down since opting out of his contract in 2016, the same year the quarterback began his protest when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. The player stirred a national controversy in an effort to protest rampant police brutality in the country. Other players soon took his cue and joined the protest in the 2016 season, while many others have continued the protest till now.
Kaepernick's movement drew heavy criticism from President Donald Trump, who even called for the owners of the NFL teams to fire the players who were participating in it. The NFL, last year, had announced a rule which required all the players to stand during the national anthem. The association, however, gave an option to the players to stand off the field until the ceremony was over instead of kneeling outside.
King III also said that he agrees with Kaepernick's belief that he has been blackballed by the NFL "The industry did blackball him, which is not good," said King III. "He certainly is one of the most talented quarterbacks even today, probably. There are times when you need strategic quarterbacks who have a proven record. And, certainly, Colin Kaepernick is one of those."
Kaepernick, who had led San Francisco to the 2013 Super Bowl, last February had also reached a confidential settlement with the NFL after alleging that the league blackballed him. With multiple NFL teams currently hunting for game-changing quarterbacks in the wake of injuries to their existing players, Colin Kaepernick has expressed an active interest in pursuing those vacancies.
According to journalist Chris Williamson, Kaepernick's agent has reportedly reached out to many teams in need of another signal-caller. Williamson, in a tweet on Wednesday, wrote: "Source close to @Kaepernick7 in light of all the QB injuries: 'Colin is literally in the best shape of his life. He’s been working out 5 days a week at 5 am for 3 years. He wants to play and his agent has been contacting teams in need of a QB.'"