Alex Smith: Kaepernick's NFL absence 'still doesn't make sense'
Former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick watches the Women's Singles second round match between Naomi Osaka of Japan and Magda Linette of Poland. Anthony Behar

Alex Smith: Colin Kaepernick's NFL absence 'still doesn't make sense'

Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith still doesn't understand why Colin Kaepernick doesn't have a job in the NFL. 

Smith became friends with the former 49ers quarterback when the two were teammates in San Francisco. During an appearance on the "10 Questions With Kyle Brandt" podcast, he admitted that he's still perplexed by Kaepernick's situation. 

"It still doesn't make sense," Smith said. "The run that he went on, at the end of that last year that we were together [in 2012] and went to the Super Bowl ... was so crazy to watch. Truly one of the historic runs in football to see what he was doing.

"It's crazy to fast forward only a couple years after that and he was out of the league. It's hard to — you couldn't even grasp it. Couldn't understand it. You couldn't."

Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL since the conclusion of the 2016 campaign, which was the same year he became a target of criticism for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

After his stint with the 49ers came to a close, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL, stating he was ousted from the league for his views on the sensitive situation, and it was eventually settled.

The league became more supportive of players protesting police brutality and racial injustice during the 2020 season, allowing them to kneel during the national anthem and wear special decals on their helmets, among other initiatives. 

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