UPDATE: Both Kaepernick and the CBS reporter who conducted his interview now claim Kaepernick never said he’d end his protest if he received a lucrative offer to play professional football.
Reporter Jason La Canfora says that he and Kaepernick “never discussed” the issue of standing for the anthem during future games – hard to believe given that Kaepernick is famous almost exclusively for his national anthem protests.
Standing for Anthem wasn’t something that I spoke to Colin about sat. I relayed what had been reported about him standing in the future…
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 8, 2017
Kapernick took to Twitter to call the allegation a “lie,” using, ironically, a fake Winston Churchill quote.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) October 8, 2017
Its easy to understand why, even if they did discuss Kaepernick’s future NFL plans, that Kaepernick would want to deny the story: he’s, ostensibly, not playing right now because he values politics over his career (though a number of NFL coaches and administrators would probably disagree). Saying that he’d end his protest in return for a payday cheapens his “crusade.”
According to a breaking news report from the Associated Press, former San Francisco 49ers second string quarterback Colin Kaepernick now says that he’ll stand during the national anthem if an NFL team suddenly decides to give him a job:
BREAKING: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick tells CBS he’ll stand during national anthem if given chance to play football in NFL again.
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 8, 2017
According to CBS News, which sat down with the out-of-work NFLer for “several hours,” Kaepernick is actively looking for work, and is willing to abdicate his year-long national anthem protest, if only an NFL team would deign to allow him to warm their bench. Watch the CBS report:
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 8, 2017
Kaepernick has been out of work since walking away from his modest contract with the 49ers, apparently under the belief that his political principles had elevated him to such notoriety, he would be given a multi-million dollar contract immediately. The job offers never materialized, and some teams, including the Miami Dolphins, went with other on-the-market QBs, apparently to avoid the conflict that Kaepernick brings with him to the field.
Kaepernick’s status can be taken two ways: one, that his national anthem protest, which began in August of 2016 when he noted that the American flag was no different from the Confederate flag and refused to stand to honor The Star-Spangled Banner, is over, and his need for employment outweighs his need to set himself apart through a political demonstration.
It could also be a test: Kaepernick and his supporters have long said that the only reason NFL teams haven’t been beating a path to Kaepernick’s door is because they can’t handle the fallout (and not because Kaepernick hasn’t been a first string-quality quarterback for years).
Either way, there’s no doubt President Donald Trump, at least, will probably celebrate Kaepernick’s acquiescence as a win.