Tuesday afternoon, ESPN's Adam Schefter revealed that the NFL was striving to help former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick return to the league. In order to achieve this goal, the league set up a private workout and interview session in Atlanta for this coming Saturday and sent out an invite to all 32 NFL teams. Those who can't attend will have the video of the event made available to them.
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 and recently turned 32 years old. He opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017 after protesting police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the National Anthem. His agent has mentioned repeatedly that Kaepernick has been working out five days a week in anticipation of an opportunity to return to the league. Although one has not presented itself just yet.
Given the discussions surrounding Kaepernick and his silent protests from 2016, it was inevitable that there would be some very tense discussions on social media. Twitter proved this to be true as hundreds of commenters shared their political beliefs and personal opinions about Kaepernick.
Whether it was a discussion about his playing ability or comments about various political stances, the result of this workout news was that users wanted to argue on social media.
(Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty)
A very common response to the news about Colin Kaepernick's workout was vitriol in the comments section. Whether it was political discussions about Donald Trump and his previous statements about kneeling or simply those proclaiming that the San Francisco 49ers QB had no talent, it was quickly evident that Kaepernick's name created some arguments.
To prepare for this barrage of commentary, some users on social media felt that it was best to don some special protection before diving in. In fact, they even compared it to a hazardous area.
His career is and HAS been OVER.— __iTweet__ (@__iTweet__) November 12, 2019
While some fans tried to figure out exactly where the former 49ers star would potentially land following his workout, there were many others that wanted to know why this discussion was even taking place. In their eyes, Colin Kaepernick should not have been a storyline beyond the 2016 campaign.
According to some users on Twitter, Kaepernick is no longer in the NFL for a reason. They feel that his time on the football field has long since passed. Although this opinion was met with skepticism.
There’s not a team that wants him. So now he thinks everybody has forgotten what he started. No chance. If a team takes him they are signing there death warrant. Real fans won’t show up to watch him. Team will lose millions of dollars. Cancer in the locker room!!!— chili (@Alimony58) November 12, 2019
If there were ever any doubts that Kaepernick was a divisive figure among football fans, the responses to news of his workout put that to rest. There were dozens of arguments about protests, his ability as a quarterback, and the actual purpose of his kneeling. The majority of these interactions were very angry.
Interestingly enough, there were some football fans that said Kaepernick was cancer in the locker room and that he would force a team to lose a considerable amount of money. Back in 2016, reports of him being "cancer" were refuted by members of the 49ers, including wide receiver Torrey Smith.
Good news! Happy to see him back, all though San Fran may not be his returning spot— Scoobears (@bluecham) November 12, 2019
While the majority of responses to Adam Schefter's report were very angry, there were many users that responded in a different manner. Specifically, they were happy to see Kaepernick get another opportunity. They also wanted to know which team would be the destination for his services.
Considering that Jimmy Garoppolo has helped the 49ers achieve an 8-1 record, the prevailing belief was that the Bay Area team would not be a destination for Kaepernick. So what would be the best landing spot?
Rumor has it that Kaep has 7 missed calls, 3 voicemails, and 41 unread messages from AB seeing if they can carpool to the workout— Brandon Schultz (@schultzb4224) November 12, 2019
Given the nature of social media, this news about Colin Kaepernick brought a wide variety of responses. Many were serious, but a few opted for a more humorous path. Specifically, one user wanted to discuss another prominent figure that has been absent from NFL stadiums for most of the 2019 season.
After appearing in one game for the New England Patriots, Antonio Brown was released and has since been working out and creating headlines. He has alternated between saying that he is done playing in the NFL and pushing for a return to the field.
@ChicagoBears sign him— Abraham Ramirez (@Abrahamram2) November 12, 2019
San Francisco may not be a destination for Colin Kaepernick due to the presence of Jimmy Garoppolo, but there are still 31 other teams that could be in the hunt for a backup or a potential starter. Some signal-callers have struggled this season and been benched while injuries have derailed the seasons of others.
There is one team in the NFC North that has a perfectly healthy starting quarterback, but the fans don't want him on the field each week. Instead, they want Kaepernick to come in and potentially save the day and the season.
It’s time for this all to end…Kaep deserves to be in the league considering the amount of slop QB’s that are active.
Dude can ball.— John Blanco (@ZaBlanc) November 12, 2019
Is Colin Kaepernick worth bringing onto an NFL roster? For many fans, the answer is a resounding yes. They believe that he is far better than Brian Hoyer, Mitch Trubisky, Ryan Finley, Jeff Driskel, and many other quarterbacks that are currently on NFL rosters.
Obviously, the political divide in the country has played a role in Kaepernick's absence from the football field, and many fans are ready for this to no longer be a conversation. Instead, they want to see the former San Francisco 49ers QB get his chance to shine.
Hell yeah, if they gave Richie Incognito 6 chances to come back despite having drug addictions and issues with the law why not give Kap an chance. He is a modle citizen who hasn't broken the law. You might disagree with his politics but that shouldn't be a factor if your talented— Jesus Nava (@jesusnava805) November 12, 2019
The concept of Colin Kaepernick coming back into the league was enough to create anger among many on social media, but there were others that believe it's long past time for him to get another opportunity. The primary reason? His political beliefs shouldn't be an issue that leads to one player reportedly being blackballed, especially if he has avoided any legal troubles.
To prove this point, some users mentioned other NFL players that have been given multiple opportunities to find success despite dealing with legal issues. In their opinion, getting arrested for many reasons, including threatening to decapitate a corpse before trashing a funeral home is much worse than simply kneeling during the National Anthem.