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NFL responds to former league executive saying Vikings should sign Colin Kaepernick

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The murder of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police offer Tuesday evening has brought up the entire Colin Kaepernick protest from years ago.

Protesters around the United States continue to take a knee in front of police forces as a way to both honor Mr. Floyd and pay their respects to Kaepernick.

The backdrop here is former NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart indicating on Saturday that the Minnesota Vikings should sign Mr. Kaepernick.

“The situation in Minnesota right now offers a unique opportunity to deal with the symbols of racial injustice,” Lockhart wrote in a column for CNN. “As a small but important step, the owners of the Minnesota Vikings, Zygi and Mark Wilf, can send a strong message by offering Colin Kaepernick a contract to play with the Vikings. Bring him into camp, treat him like any of the other players given a chance to play the game they love.”

Colin Kaepernick protests

The former second-round pick started his national anthem protests during the 2016 NFL exhibition season. Kaepernick has since become the face of protests relating to racial injustice in the United State. It has taken on new meaning recently following the murder of George Floyd.

It’s also become a hot political topic with President Donald Trump having verbally attacked Kaepernick in the past. NFL players have since responded accordingly. It’s one of the major rifts between the president and the sports world. For his part, Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since he was a member of the 49ers back in 2016.

Any legitimate interest in Kaepernick?

It was noted earlier in the month that Kaepernick was interested in signing with the New York Jets. That’s obviously not going to happen after New York brought in free-agent quarterback Joe Flacco.

There’s a very minimal chance that Kaepernick will ever play in the NFL again. Whether the current racial divide in the United States right now changes that remains to be seen.

As it relates to this story, the irony is too real. The Vikings signing Kaepernick to back up Kirk Cousins amid the city of Minneapolis being up in flames following Mr. Floyd’s murder.

While that scenario seems highly unlikely, the NFL figured it made sense to respond to Lockhart on Saturday.

“Colin is a free agent,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told Pro Football Talk. “Clubs may sign him if they choose to do so.”

This is obviously a company line the NFL has been pushing since Kaepernick was blackballed by the league following the 2016 season. It came out in full force last year after the Super Bowl signal caller “worked out” for NFL teams.