One of the hottest commodities in football is a quarterback who doesn’t even have a roster spot: free agent Colin Kaepernick. Some believe the 29-year-old, who remains unsigned with the 2017 NFL season days away, is being “blackballed” by the league after kneeling during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality in policing.
Mina Kimes of ESPN recently sat down with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a featured piece, with the topic turning to Kaepernick.
“I think he should be on a roster right now,” Rodgers said. “I think because of his protests, he’s not.”
Green Bay’s signal caller knows firsthand of Kaepernick’s ability to play in the league. Back during the 2012 postseason against Rodgers and the Packers, it was the then-49ers quarterback who stole the show with 181 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and another 263 yards and two scores through the air in San Francisco’s 45-31 win.
Rodgers, who has had discussions about the protests with teammate Martellus Bennett, believes they are “peaceful.”
“I’m gonna stand because that’s the way I feel about the flag — but I’m also 100 percent supportive of my teammates or any fellow players who are choosing not to,” he said. “They have a battle for racial equality. That’s what they’re trying to get a conversation started around.”
Kimes then asked Rodgers about that battle — the subject of the free-agent quarterback’s choice to protest.
“I think the best way I can say this is: I don’t understand what it’s like to be in that situation,” Rodgers said. “What it is to be pulled over, or profiled, or any number of issues that have happened, that Colin was referencing — or any of my teammates have talked to me about.”
Rodgers also noted that he envies the culture in the NBA, where he feels stars are more enabled to speak freely on social issues.