While speaking with reporters last week, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks suggested he believed Colin Kaepernick was unofficially blackballed by the league the past three seasons after the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback repeatedly kneeled during renditions of the national anthem during the 2016 campaign to protest police brutality and social injustice.
During an appearance on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday, New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said he thinks the NFL should apologize to Kaepernick and also assign the signal-caller to a team.
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan agrees that Kaepernick deserves a shot to resurrect his NFL career.
As noted by ESPN's Vaughn McClure, Ryan discussed Kaepernick during a Tuesday media availability session:
Matt Ryan says Colin Kaepernick should have every opportunity to have a spot on a roster in this league. pic.twitter.com/gC6ns3Cy7y— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) June 9, 2020
"As far as Colin being back in the league, I think he should have every opportunity to," Ryan explained. "He created awareness for a situation that, it’s taken some time, but people are becoming more active in terms of their response to it.
“So, I think from that standpoint, his protest is being heard at this point. It might have taken too long, but I think he should have every opportunity to have a job and have a spot in this league.”
With NFL players and others around the sports world still reacting to the killing of George Floyd, Roger Goodell admitted via an official video on Friday that he and the league were "wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier" regarding racism and the silent protests started by Kaepernick in August 2016.
Goodell didn't mention Kaepernick by name, however, which left Jenkins wanting more.
"At the end of the day, they've listened to their players, they've donated money, they've created an Inspire Change platform," Jenkins told CBS. "They've tried to do things up to this point. But it's been one player in particular that they have ignored and have not acknowledged, and that's Colin Kaepernick.
"That's the only thing people want to hear. If it's not going to correct that or acknowledge that, then everything else doesn't need to be said."
While Kaepernick hasn't played an NFL down in more than three years, the 32-year-old free agent is reportedly in excellent physical condition and ready to join a club for preseason workouts.
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While many quarterbacks have thrown passes for the Atlanta Falcons over the years, this quiz only lists the signal callers who led the team in passing yards in the years displayed.