The Rev. Jesse Jackson says that a National Football League (NFL) team should sign free agent Colin Kaepernick before the 2017 season starts.
“Kaepernick should be playing football this fall of 2017 for somebody,” he told BlackSportsOnline Monday.
“[It’s] some owner that has the courage to do the right thing and get a good ball player at the same time,” Jackson added of who should sign Kaepernick.
“[Kaepernick’s] fighting police brutality because he does love America. He does love freedom. He does love Democracy.”
Jackson added he hopes more professional athletes follow Kaepernick’s lead in protesting social injustice.
“I would urge other players to join Kaepernick,” he said of the free agent quarterback. “Use this platform to make a statement.”
“Whether you’re white or black, it’s just the American and morally correct thing to do,” the civil rights activist added.
“What Kaepernick is doing is legitimate, American, free protest against abusive behavior towards black people. That’s a legitimate protest.”
Week 1 of the NFL’s regular season schedule this year begins on Thursday, Sept. 7 with a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots.
Kaepernick became the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers in 2012, ultimately having his first full season in that role the following year.
The 49ers missed the NFL playoffs for three consecutive years starting in 2014, with Kaepernick repeatedly competing for the starting role with other quarterbacks.
Kaepernick began declining to stand for the National Anthem during a preseason game in 2016, citing America’s struggles with racial inequality.
The football star ultimately began kneeling instead following backlash from critics who accused him of insensitivity to America’s military veterans.
Kaepernick’s fans argue he is a proven starting quarterback and could help successfully a NFL team this season.
Critics counter that national debate over Kaepernick’s actions may become a distraction for any potential team.