Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith questions why former quarterback Colin Kaepernick still isn’t on a team in the NFL. Since 2016, Kaepernick has been a free agent since the San Francisco 49ers released him. Some have called out the NFL for blacklisting the athlete.
Kaepernick garnered national recognition and controversy for protesting during the National Anthem. During this past NFL season, many players and teams adopted a similar form of protest. Now, Smith, who is friends with Kaepernick, is calling out the League.
“It still doesn’t make sense,” Smith said on the “10 Questions With Kyle Brandt” podcast.
Both Smith and Kaepernick spent time together on the 49ers. Smith highlighted the athlete’s talent as a quarterback and believes it isn’t a question of Kaepernick’s skills.
“The run that he went on, at the end of that last year that we were together [in 2012] and went to the Super Bowl … was so crazy to watch,” Smith said. “Truly one of the historic runs in football to see what he was doing. It’s crazy to fast forward only a couple years after that and he was out of the league. It’s hard to — you couldn’t even grasp it. Couldn’t understand it. You couldn’t.”
Alex Smith Supports Colin Kaepernick
In regards to protesting for social justice, Smith called Kaepernick “ahead of his time” back in 2016. After the death of George Floyd in 2020, the NFL and other sporting organizations adopted similar forms of protesting. The NFL has supported these players’ protests whereas they didn’t back in 2016. So far, the League’s protests have garnered its fair share of supporters and critics.
“The country wasn’t ready. Nobody was ready for it,” Smith said. “And, he’s sitting there trying to tell everybody through a completely peaceful manner about some of the things going on in this country and that has been going on for a long time.”
Smith also disagreed with the criticism that the NFL has gathered due to the protest. He called the backlash they’ve received “sad” and “tragic.”
“And, to see the backlash that happened, yeah, it hurts,” Smith said. “It hurts looking back at it that the country wasn’t ready for it and he suffered the repercussions.”
Currently, Kaepernick has been busy working on both a Kevin Hart film and also his own Netflix series. The series will follow Kaepernick through his high school years into playing for the NFL and rise to national prominence.