After a last-minute change in venue at his own behest, Colin Kaepernick finally got the opportunity his supporters have been clamoring for when he got a chance to work out for a smattering of NFL teams.
To his credit, Kaepernick did look sharp in his workout, as ESPN noted that he completed 53 of his 60 passes.
But it’s also worth noting that these types of workouts are specifically designed to make the quarterback look as good as possible.
There were no defenders on Kaepernick’s receivers and no pass rushers barreling at him. For all intents and purposes, he should look good in this type of environment.
Still, when CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweeted out a video of what he called Kaepernick’s “best throw of the night, no question,” it’s hard to deny that it was a crisp-looking deep ball with plenty of velocity.
Kap's best throw of the night, without question pic.twitter.com/WtsgumqPrH
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) November 16, 2019
But as has been the case for Kaepernick in recent years, he seems unable or unwilling to avoid controversy.
For whatever accuracy and zip Kaepernick may have shown on his throws on Saturday, far more people seemed to be interested in discussing the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s choice of apparel for his workout.
That’s because Kaepernick chose to wear a shirt with some seriously racially charged connotations.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) November 16, 2019
Kaepernick wore a black shirt emblazoned with the words “Kunta Kinte” for his workout.
For those unaware, Kunta Kinte was a historical character from the 1976 novel “Roots.” The character was an African man who was enslaved and taken to America, the ancestor of “Roots” author Alex Haley.
The reference is clear, even if the comparison may be lacking.
Kaepernick apparently feels like a slave being forced to follow the NFL’s whims to get a job in the league again. But it’s also worth noting that Kaepernick is not only a free man, but also a millionaire many times over and is now trying to get a private business to hire him.
Suffice it to say, wearing that type of shirt to a glorified job interview isn’t exactly subtle.
For his part, Kaepernick says he is ready to return to the league he finds so oppressive.
“I’ve been ready for three years,” Kaepernick said, according to ESPN. “I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why I came out here. (I) showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them stop running. Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people.”
Kaepernick also doesn’t seem to care about which team he could eventually go to.
“We’re out here. We’re ready to play. We’re ready to go anywhere. My agent, Jeff Nalley, is ready to talk (to) any team. I’ll interview with any team at any time. I’ve been ready,” Kaepernick added.
Kaepernick’s critics often cite the fact that his baggage outweighs his talent as the reason why he is not employed by the NFL. Only time will tell if Kaepernick’s choice of apparel on Saturday will further lend credence to that theory.