Colin Kaepernick Says He's 'Absolutely' Ready and 'Prepared' for Potential NFL Return

Colin Kaepernick, who hasn't played in an NFL game since 2016, said he's training up to six days a week to stay prepared "to take a team to a Super Bowl again"

Colin Kaepernick. Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

If given the opportunity, Colin Kaepernick is prepared to return to the NFL.

In a new interview with Ebony, the 33-year-old athlete, who hasn't played in an NFL game since 2016, said he is "absolutely" ready to resume his professional football career should he get signed to a team in the league.

"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," Kaepernick told The View co-host Sunny Hostin, who wrote the cover story. "That's not something I will ever let go of, regardless of the actions of 32 teams and their partners to deny me employment."

Kaepernick noted, "The same way I was persistent in high school is the same way I'm gonna be persistent here."

During the 2016 season, Kaepernick began kneeling while the national anthem played at the beginning of each game to protest racial injustice, police brutality and systemic oppression. The year following his polarizing protests, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Since then, he has been unable to sign with any NFL team.

Kaepernick and fellow protester Eric Reid filed grievances with the league in October 2017 that accused owners of colluding to prevent him from signing with a team. The pair settled in Feb. 2019, with Kaepernick reportedly getting less than $10 million — $2 million less than his 2016 base salary — according to ESPN.

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick. AFFI/Shutterstock

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Kaepernick's hopes of returning to the gridiron are still alive even after a hiatus that has stretched to five years.

"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 told Ebony.

"But in that process, I'm also not gonna let you bury my future," he continued. "I'm gonna continue to do work on the acting and producing side, continue to do the work with Know Your Rights, and make sure we are having an impact. I think that's the beauty of us collectively — we are not one-dimensional."

Colin Kaepernick. Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty

In 2016, Kaepernick founded Know Your Rights, a campaign that raises awareness for higher education, self-empowerment and instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.

Also off the field, he is creating content as a producer.

Soon, Kaepernick's "coming of age story" will be told in a Netflix biopic series called Colin in Black & White, which delves into race, class, and culture. In the six episodes, Jaden Michael portrays the former NFL star at age 17, while Nick Offerman and Mary Louise Parker play his parents, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick.

Kaepernick serves as the limited series' executive producer alongside Ava DuVernay.

Colin in Black & White premieres on Netflix Oct. 29.

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