Many argue Colin Kaepernick lost his NFL career due to his silent kneeling protest. But in the midst of George Floyd's tragic death, one former NFL executive admits the league was "wrong" for not signing the former 49ers' phenom.
Kaepernick's original and ongoing protest has been rooted in the fight to end police brutality and oppression, specifically against the black community. His acts of kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem before 49ers' games sparked a widespread outrage years ago.
Following the end of Kaepernick's tenure with the 49ers, he failed to sign a new deal. Teams were clearly weary of signing the dual-threat quarterback because of the protests. He now hasn't been with the NFL since 2016.
Kaepernick and his protests have been a controversial topic over the years. But Floyd's death - which came to be after a police officer knelt on Floyd's throat for multiple minutes - has sparked an understanding of why Kaepernick started his protests in the first place. Former NFL executive Joe Lockhart recently admitted that he and the NFL "was wrong" for failing to sign Kaepernick.
"I was wrong," Lockhart wrote on CNN. "I think the teams were wrong for not signing him. Watching what's going on in Minnesota, I understand how badly wrong we were."
There's no doubt Kaepernick deserves a spot in the NFL - for both his on- and off-the-field impact.
Hopefully, the former 49ers' quarterback will soon find his way back into the league.
For now, he remains a symbol of hope for those aiming to end police brutality against the black community.