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Almost four years after he started protesting racial injustice and also police brutality in America by sitting and also then kneeling throughout the national anthem in ~ NFL games, Colin Kaepernick remains out of a job.

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Kaepernick, currently a 32-year-old free agent quarterback who hasn"t played in the NFL since the last week that the 2016 season, ended up spending six years v the 49ers before his calm protest led to his apparently acquiring blackballed by the league"s team owners. He continues to be a polarizing civil rights activist to this day also though the is no longer granted the communication of NFL quarterback.


Which is why Kaepernick"s surname was immediately referenced once the NFL freshly released what was digested as an north statement ~ above George Floyd"s fatality at the hand of Minneapolis police. Similar responses came when Kaepernick"s previous team do its very own statements on injustice amid an international protests of Floyd"s death.

Four years ago, however, Kaepernick"s protests during the nationwide anthem to be much much more of a societal wedge than similar demonstrations room today. In the days, weeks, months and also years ~ Kaepernick an initial explained why he to be protesting, trenches were occupied. Part understood and applauded Kaepernick"s efforts. Rather failed to separate the cause of the protests from the an approach of protest and also repeatedly chastised the quarterback.


Below is the timeline native then until now, an outline the details a crossfire of praise and ridicule aimed at Kaepernick end the last four years. It starts with the night his previously undetected protesting to be noticed by a reporter.

MORE: Why walk Colin Kaepernick kneel?

Colin Kaepernick kneeling timeline

Aug. 26, 2016 — Kaepernick, who at the time is beginning his sixth NFL season, all through the 49ers, sits top top the bench throughout the nationwide anthem before San Francisco"s preseason house game versus Green Bay. It"s not the first time he has actually sat during the anthem, but his action is noticed by reporters.

"I am no going to stand up to present pride in a flag for a nation that oppresses black people and also people of color," Kaepernick tells NFL Media after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish top top my component to look at the other way. There space bodies in the street and people gaining paid leave and also getting away v murder."

Aug. 27, 2016 — The 49ers and the NFL concern statements top top Kaepernick"s protest the night before. From the team: "The national anthem is and always will be a special component of the pre-game ceremony. The is an possibility to respect our country and reflect ~ above the great liberties we space afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American ethics as freedom of religion and freedom the expression, we acknowledge the ideal of an separation, personal, instance to choose and also participate, or not, in our celebration the the national anthem."

From the league: "Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the play of the nationwide anthem."

Aug. 30, 2016 — previous Seahawks player and also Green Beret Nate Boyer writes an open letter to Kaepernick from the perspective of a supportive army member. The two meet in human a day later, and also Boyer talks Kaepernick into an altering his technique of protest from sitting to kneeling throughout the national anthem out of respect.

"We sorta involved a center ground wherein he would take a knee together his teammates," Boyer speak HBO. "Soldiers take a knee in front of a collapse brother"s grave, you know, to show respect. Once we"re on a patrol, you know, and also we go into a defense halt, we take a knee, and also we traction security."


Thanks for the invite brother... An excellent talk. Let"s simply keep relocating forward. This is what America should be all around pic.twitter.com/LgjPpjk173

— Nate Boyer (

Sept. 1, 2016 — Kaepernick proceeds v his new method of protest, kneeling quite than sitting, before the 49ers" final preseason game, a road contest versus the Chargers. This time the is join by mountain Francisco safety Eric Reid. This becomes the duo"s method of protest because that the whole season.

Sept. 1, 2016 — ~ the Chargers game, Kaepernick pledges to donate $1 million of his 2016 salary to establishments he believes can help his cause. "The media painted this as I"m anti-American, anti-men and women the the military, and that"s no the case at all," the says. "I realize the men and also women of the armed forces go out and also sacrifice your lives and put themselves in harm"s way for my liberty of speech and my freedoms in this country, and also my flexibility to take a chair or take a knee. Therefore I have actually the utmost respect for them. ...

"The blog post is we have a lot of problems in this country that we need to deal with. We have actually a many of civilization that are oppressed. We have actually a lot of world that aren"t cure equal, given equal opportunities. Police brutality is a huge thing that needs to it is in addressed. There space a many of concerns that should be talked about, come be carried to life, and we have to fix those."


Kaepernick7 to be asked if he or his protests might be viewed as un-American.This was his answer: pic.twitter.com/0ATDqYUehC

— ESPN (

Sept. 3, 2016 — First-year 49ers coach Chip Kelly provides Blaine Gabbert the starting QB task over Kaepernick, who is still recovering a pair of offseason surgeries (thumb, knee) on top of the shoulder surgical procedure that finished his 2015 season. "I think (Gabbert"s) grasp and command the what we"re doing, i think he"s a great fit because that what we desire to gain accomplished," Kelly says. "I have a many confidence in what he deserve to do with us offensively."

Sept. 5, 2016 — President Barack Obama defends Kaepernick"s protest. "He"s working out his constitutional appropriate to do a statement," Obama says at a news conference during the G20 summit in China. "I think there is a long background of sports numbers doing so. I think there room a lot of of methods you have the right to do it once it pertains to the flag and national anthem."

Sept. 7, 2016 — NFL commissioner i get it Goodell breaks his silence and also issues his first public comment on Kaepernick"s protests. "I don"t necessarily agree with what he is doing," Goodell says, adding, "I support our players once they want to see readjust in society, and also we don"t live in a perfect society. Top top the various other hand, us believe really strongly in patriotism in the NFL. Ns personally believe very strongly in that."

Sept. 11, 2016 — ~ above the an initial Sunday the the 2016 season, countless NFL players follow Kaepernick"s lead and protest gyeongju injustice during the nationwide anthem before their games.


Roundup the #NFL football player participating in protests ~ above Sunday. Pic.twitter.com/ToDpZYod7z

— Jordan hell (

Sept. 12, 2016 — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump states Kaepernick and other football player protesting during the national anthem have to leave the country. "You know, you space talking about a significant sport, possibly the major sport, and when you view that and also it leads to a the majority of other things," trump says. "I think it"s a good lack the respect and appreciation for our country and also I really claimed they should try another country, see if they like it better. See exactly how well they"ll be doing. Watch if they are going to it is in making $20 million gift a second-string quarterback."

Sept. 22, 2016 — Time newspaper puts Kaepernick ~ above the covering of that Oct. 5 issue.

Sept. 27, 2016 — Kaepernick responds come Trump"s case that the protests space "a absence of respect" for the joined States. "He always says make America great again," Kaepernick states of the presidential candidate. "Well America has never been an excellent for world of color. That"s something that requirements to it is in addressed. Let"s do America good for the an initial time."

Oct. 7, 2016 — Kaepernick agrees to restructure his contract through the 49ers. The new deal eliminates his guarantee money for 2017, voids the last three years the the contract and gives Kaepernick the ideal to opt out after 2016. Before the renegotiation, Kaepernick protects himself with a $7.5 million loss-of-value insurance policy.

Oct. 11, 2016 — Kelly announces Kaepernick will certainly make his season debut as the 1-4 49ers" starter in main 6 versus the Bills. The completes just 13 that 29 overcome in a 45-16 loss however remains mountain Francisco"s starter the remainder of the season.

Nov. 8, 2016 — Kaepernick chooses not to poll in the 2016 presidential election. "It was embarrassing to watch that these room our two candidates," he claims of Trump and Hillary Clinton. "Both are proven liars, and it nearly seems choose they"re trying to debate who"s less racist. And also at this point ... You have to pick the lesser of two evils. However in the end, it"s tho evil."

Dec. 4, 2016 — Kaepernick it s okay benched through Kelly in the 4th quarter of a loss come the Bears the drops the 49ers come 1-11. He starts again the adhering to week versus the Jets.

March 1, 2017 — Kaepernick"s agents tell NFL teams he will certainly opt the end of his contract through the 49ers. The relocate comes 2 months after Kelly and also general manager Trent Baalke were fired by san Francisco and also eventually replaced by new coach Kyle Shanahan and GM john Lynch. Previous reports had indicated the 49ers to plan to release Kaepernick had actually he not opted out.

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March 18, 2017 — The signings the lesser QBs in NFL totally free agency add to the suspicion that Kaepernick is being blackballed by NFL teams. Bleacher Report posting a story on how NFL front-office varieties still desire nothing to perform with that after his protests throughout the national anthem.

June 5, 2017 — The Seahawks, a team the was interested in signing Kaepernick, instead include Austin Davis to the roster. "Colin’s been a an excellent football player and also he’s walking to continue to be," Seattle coach Pete Carroll claims a pair days prior. "At this time, us didn"t do anything v it. We understand where that is, that he is and we had a possibility to know him much much more so. He is a starter in this league and I can not imagine somebody won’t provide him a chance to play."

July 31, 2017 — through his team considering signing Kaepernick, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti asks world to pray for his franchise. "I know that we’re going to upset some people, and I understand that we’re going to make human being happy that we stood up for someone that has the right to perform what that did,” Bisciotti says. “Non-violent protesting is something that we have actually all embraced. I don’t like the method he did it. Personally, I sort of preferred it a lot once he walk from sit to kneeling. Ns don’t know, i’m Catholic — we invest a many time kneeling.”

Baltimore coach man Harbaugh confirms the team has been in contact v Kaepernick.

Aug. 25, 2017 — A year after Kaepernick"s very first protest, hundreds of his supporters stage a rally external the NFL"s headquarters in brand-new York. "We believe that the NFL has actually been complicit in the ostracization that Colin Kaepernick,” says Symone Sanders, a autonomous strategist and CNN political analyst. “And today, it is time because that the NFL to take it a stand."

Sept. 22, 2017 — Trump tells a group of supporters in Alabama the players that protest throughout the national anthem have to be fired: "Get that boy of a bitch off the field right now."


Trump desire NFL owners would tell anthem protesters "get that son of a bitch turn off the field right now" pic.twitter.com/gq4EH3lNoY

— Washington Examiner (

Sept. 24, 2017 — A couple days ~ Trump says players who kneel throughout the nationwide anthem need to be fired, players from many teams protest en masse, v members of several teams staying in the locker room while the anthem is played. That same day, Trump encourages fans to prevent going come NFL games until football player "stop disrespecting our Flag & Country."

Sept. 26, 2017 — as protests throughout the national anthem continue at NFL games, president Trump states Goodell should have suspended Kaepernick, who continues to be unsigned. Trump likewise tweets the following: "The NFL has actually all kinds of rules and also regulations. The only method out because that them is to set a rule that friend can"t kneel during our nationwide Anthem!"

Sept. 26, 2017 — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones locks arms and kneels v players before the playing of the nationwide anthem top top a Monday night in Arizona. He and the players then stand for the actual anthem.


Oct. 8, 2017 — Vice chairman Mike Pence attends a Colts vs. 49ers game in Indianapolis yet leaves after football player protest during the nationwide anthem. "(President Trump) and also I will not dignify any kind of event the disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our national Anthem," Pence tweets, later on adding, "At a time once so numerous Americans are motivating our country with their courage, resolve, and also resilience, now, an ext than ever, we should rally about our Flag and also everything the unites us. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, ns don"t think it"s too lot to questioning NFL football player to respect the Flag and also our national Anthem."

Oct. 8, 2017 — Kaepernick confirms come CBS that still desires to beat in the NFL and is working out every work in ready of one opportunity.

Oct. 15, 2017 — Kaepernick hires attorney mark Geragos and documents a grievance under the CBA because that collusion against NFL owners. The filing claims that NFL team owners "have colluded come deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick"s leadership and also advocacy for equality and social justice and also his pass awareness to peculiar establishments still undermining racial equality in the unified States."

Geragos claims the grievance to be filed "only after pursuing every feasible avenue v all NFL teams and also their executives.""

Dec. 6, 2017 — Beyonce provides a surprise appearance to hand Kaepernick the Muhammad Ali tradition Award at sporting activities Illustrated"s Sportsperson of the Year ceremony. "With or there is no the NFL’s platform, ns will proceed to work for the people," Kaepernick says.

March 15, 2018 — Another cost-free agency period opens and also plays the end without Kaepernick receiving an market to sign with a team.

April 18, 2018 — with Kaepernick present, his attorneys depose Goodell at the NFL"s headquarters. Likewise sitting for depositions at assorted points in the grievance procedure are high-profile NFL name like Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Broncos general manager john Elway and Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

May 2, 2018 — ~ Reid goes with the very first waves of complimentary agency unsigned, the NFLPA files a grievance ~ above the safety"s behalf. Reid is being represented by Kaepernick"s attorney.

May 23, 2018 — The NFL announces a new rule versus kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem. It gives players the choice of continuing to be in the locker room, instead. “We want human being to it is in respectful to the nationwide anthem,” Goodell says. “We want civilization to stand. That’s all personnel, and also make certain they act this moment in a respectful fashion. It is something we think us owe. We have actually been an extremely sensitive in making certain we give players choices, yet we do believe that that minute is important and also one we space going to focus on.”

A work later, trumped praises the league"s new anthem stance.


realDonaldTrump: “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or girlfriend shouldn"t be playing, friend shouldn"t be there, possibly you shouldn"t be in the country." https://t.co/syjhxsoPzO

Aug. 3, 2018 — customers realize Kaepernick"s name has been edited out of a track on the soundtrack of EA Sports" "Madden NFL 19," evidently for the second year in a row. His name is eventually added back to the track in the game.

Aug. 9, 2018 — The NFL publication a statement the announces players will not it is in disciplined because that protesting throughout the national anthem despite the league"s policy: "The NFL has actually been engaged in constructive discussions v the NFL football player Association concerning the anthem and issues that equality and social justice that space of concern to plenty of Americans. While those discussions continue, the NFL has actually agreed to hold-up implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players gift disciplined for your conduct during the performance of the anthem. 

"Meanwhile, there has actually been no change in the NFL’s policy about the national anthem. The anthem will proceed to it is in played before every game, and all player and also non-player personnel on the field at the time space expected come stand throughout the presentation of the flag and also performance that the anthem. Personnel who execute not wish to carry out so can select to stay in the locker room."

Aug. 30, 2018 — The NFL"s request for a summary judgment dismissing Kaepernick"s grievance is rejected by an live independence arbitrator, allowing the case to relocate forward to trial.

Sept. 3, 2018 — Nike uses Kaepernick together the challenge of an ad campaign. The reactions range indigenous applause to burning shoes.


Believe in something, even if it method sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt pic.twitter.com/SRWkMIDdaO

— Colin Kaepernick (

Sept. 27, 2018 — Kaepernick congratulates Reid on being signed through the Panthers. "Congratulations to mine brother, one All-Pro safety who should have actually been signed the very first day of free agency, who has signed a football contract," Kaepernick write on Instagram. "He has was the first person to kneel together me. Eric is a society justice warrior, continues to support his wife, two beautiful daughters and communities in need."

Feb. 15, 2019 — Kaepernick and Reid reach settlements in your collusion grievances against the NFL. "For the previous several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and also Mr. Reid have involved in an recurring dialogue through representatives of the NFL," attorney mark Geragos and also the NFL speak in a joint statement. "As a an outcome of those discussions, the next have decided to solve the pending grievances. The resolution the this issue is subject to a confidentiality commitment so there will certainly be no more comment by any kind of party."

March 21, 2019 — The wall surface Street journal reports the NFL paid much less than $10 million to resolve the grievances of Kaepernick and also Reid.

Aug. 8, 2019 — Kaepernick sends message to NFL teams when he tweets an intense workout video. "Five a.m. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Tho ready," he says in the tweet.


Aug. 9, 2019 — Asked around Kaepernick"s message the work before, trump claims he would "love come see" the QB back in the NFL. “Only if he’s good enough,” trump says. “If the was great enough, they’d hire him. Why i will not ~ he play if the was an excellent enough? ns think if he’s good enough, I recognize the owners – I know (Patriots owner Robert) Kraft, I know so many of the owners — if he’s an excellent enough, they’d sign him. I understand these people. Castle would sign him in a heartbeat. Castle would carry out anything they have the right to to success games. So I’d prefer to check out it."

Oct. 9, 2019 — Citing Kaepernick, Rihanna confirms she turned down a opportunity to it is in the Super bowl 54 halftime performer. "I couldn"t dare carry out that," she tells Vogue. "For what? that gains indigenous that? no my people. I just couldn"t it is in a sellout. I couldn"t be an enabler. There"s points within that company that I carry out not agree with at all, and I to be not around to go and be of organization to lock in any kind of way."

Nov. 13, 2019 — ESPN reports the NFL has actually arranged a workout for Kaepernick so teams can assess his "readiness" and also "level that interest" in a potential go back to the league. Kaepernick receives native of the workout in Atlanta simply a couple of days ahead of time, however he expresses his excitement "to check out the head coaches and also GMs" who can attend.

After the organization apparently reverses course on sending out Kaepernick a perform of team officials would attend the workout, Reid among others becomes suspicious the the NFL"s motives. "It"s disingenuous," Reid says. "They desire the illustration of giving Colin a chance, however they offer him 2 hours" notice and call (him) it needs to be ~ above a Saturday once they know decision-makers are traveling. Therefore is this real? We"ll see."

Nov. 18, 2019 — on the morning that the workout, Kaepernick and his to represent decide to move the location on short notice. Kaepernick"s camp says it changed venues due to the fact that the NFL to be not allowing for full transparency (specifically, media access and suitable video recording) in ~ the Falcons" facility. Kaepernick also objected come the non-standard injury waiver the organization wanted him come sign. Just some that the team representatives who came to watch Kaepernick follow him native the Falcons" facility in Flowery Branch, Ga., come the field at Charles R. Attracted High institution in Riverdale, Ga.

"I"ve been prepared for 3 years. I"ve been denied for 3 years," Kaepernick says after the workout at the new location. "We all know why. I come out there and showed it this day in prior of everybody. Stop running from the truth. Protect against running indigenous the people."


May 29, 2020 — Kaepernick defends protests after George Floyd"s fatality at the hands of Minneapolis police. "When civility leads to death, revolting is the just logical reaction," Kaepernick says. "The cries for tranquility will rain down, and also when they do, they will land on hearing disabled ears, due to the fact that your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back! remainder in strength George Floyd."

May 30, 2020 — The NFL release a declare on the death of Floyd and also the ensuing an international protests, and the league winds up with heavy doses of Kaepernick in its mentions, with numerous of the reaction in the vein of, "You can have led the fight versus police brutality and also racial injustice 4 years ago, but instead you worked versus peaceful protesters choose Kaepernick." The 49ers get a comparable reminder once they participate in black color Tuesday.

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June 5, 2020 — Goodell offers one more statement, this time via video, after ~ the NFL is referred to as out by a team of star football player requesting a more sincere response. "We, the national Football League, recognize we were wrong for no listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage every to speak out and peacefully protest," Goodell says. Numerous criticize Goodell for no specifically pointing out Kaepernick"s name.