Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is pursuing other opportunities, but that doesn't mean he has ruled out a return to the NFL. Kaepernick reiterated his desire to continue his NFL career in a rare interview with Ebony.
Kaepernick, 33, hasn't played in the NFL since the 2016 season. He has spent the past couple years working with his non-profit group, Know Your Rights Camp, and continues to fight against racial and social injustice.
Kaepernick's latest project, a Netflix series focusing on his high school years, will bring a new challenge for the quarterback: Acting.
That series, which will air Oct. 29, has taken up a lot of Kaepernick's time lately, but he still hasn't given up on returning to the NFL.
“Absolutely. I am still up at 5 a.m. training five, six days a week making sure I’m prepared to take a team to a Super Bowl again. That’s not something I will ever let go of, regardless of the actions of 32 teams and their partners to deny me employment. The same way I was persistent in high school is the same way I’m gonna be persistent here.”
He pauses and then adds, “And you’re gonna have to continue to deny me and do so in a public way. And you’re gonna expose yourself by that, but it won’t be because I’m not ready or not prepared."
He added that waiting on the NFL wasn't going to prevent him from pursuing other opportunities. Kaepernick said he would continue to train for the NFL while acting and producing. "We are not one dimensional," he told Ebony.
Colin Kaepernick will act in new Netflix show about his life
In addition to being the co-creator of the Netflix series — titled "Colin in Black & White" — Kaepernick will also act on the program. He appears as himself on the show, potentially setting up the plot at the start of each episode.
Kaepernick said he wants to continue acting, and has worked with coaches on his delivery and ability to hit his marks. Kaepernick owns a production company, Ra Vision Media, so this series won't be the end of his foray into entertainment.
A return to the NFL seems unlikely. Kaepernick has been out of the game for so long that it would take a lot for an NFL team to reach out. A long layoff hasn't been a major barrier for other quarterbacks, as Josh Johnson returned to football after four seasons away.
But Kaepernick's protest adds an extra layer to the situation. Signing him would invite increased media attention and scrutiny, and some teams are unwilling to take that on when a bland quarterback is sitting on the market.
That's a generous read of how teams perceive Kaepernick, though. The Jon Gruden situation shows some in the NFL have reductive and hateful views, and wouldn't bring Kaepernick in for a workout even if he was a vast improvement over another player.