Colin Kaepernick 'more motivated' than ever for NFL return - Sports Illustrated

Report: Ex-49ers QB Colin Kaepernick 'More Motivated to Play Than Ever'

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Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wants to return to the NFL, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.

Florio cites a source with knowledge of the situation that said Kaepernick is in great shape and is "more motivated to play than ever" in the NFL. 

Kaepernick has not been on an NFL roster since the conclusion of the 2016 season, the same year in which he became a target of both widespread scrutiny and vast praise for his decision to peacefully protest police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. 

Following Kaepernick's stint with the 49ers, he filed a grievance against the NFL, arguing that he was effectively blackballed from the league because of his views. The league denied the charge, and the grievance was eventually settled.

Last November, he did undergo a workout in the Atlanta-area, though, he received no offers following the event.

While Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season, his peaceful protests ignited an intense national debate that resurfaced following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died on May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police. 

Following Floyd's death, Kaepernick weighed in on Instagram, writing, "When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction. The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back! Rest in power George Floyd."

Floyd's death has sparked a wave of reactions from other members of the sports world as many athletes' statements have shared an image of the Minneapolis Police Department's treatment of Floyd next to a photo of Kaepernick kneeling in protest.

Earlier Tuesday, Reverend Al Sharpton called for the NFL to bring back Kaepernick during his eulogy at Floyd's funeral in Houston. Other players, such as former 49ers RB Carlos Hyde, have echoed Sharpton's call.

The reverend's criticism comes after commissioner Roger Goodell responded Friday night to a video released by NFL players calling on the league to issue a revised statement on the issue of systemic racism and police brutality. 

In a revised statement, Goodell said the NFL, "[condemns] racism and the systematic oppression of Black People" and admitted the league was "wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier."

Goodell did not mention Kaepernick in the video.

On May 29, Kaepernick's charitable arm, the Know Your Rights Camp, launched an initiative to hire top defense lawyers for people arrested while protesting police brutality in the Minneapolis area.

The former Niners QB was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft. The 32-year-old has thrown for 72 touchdowns, ran for 13 scores and tossed 30 interceptions throughout his six-year NFL career.