Colin Kaepernick kneeling timeline: How protests throughout the nationwide anthem began a motion within the NFL

Nearly 4 years after he started protesting racial injustice and police brutality in America by sitting after which kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem at NFL video games, Colin Kaepernick stays out of a job.

Kaepernick, now a 32-year-old free agent quarterback who hasn’t performed within the NFL because the final week of the 2016 season, ended up spending six years with the 49ers earlier than his peaceable protest led to his apparently getting blackballed by the league’s crew homeowners. He stays a polarizing civil rights activist to at the present time despite the fact that he’s now not granted the platform of NFL quarterback.

Which is why Kaepernick’s title was instantly referenced when the NFL lately launched what was digested as an empty assertion on George Floyd’s dying by the hands of Minneapolis police. Related responses got here when Kaepernick’s former crew made its personal statements on injustice amid world protests of Floyd’s dying.

4 years in the past, nevertheless, Kaepernick’s protests throughout the nationwide anthem have been way more of a societal wedge than comparable demonstrations are at present. Within the days, weeks, months and years after Kaepernick first defined why he was protesting, trenches have been occupied. Some understood and applauded Kaepernick’s efforts. Others didn’t separate the reason for the protests from the strategy of protest and repeatedly chastised the quarterback.

Beneath is the timeline from then till now, an define that particulars a crossfire of reward and mock geared toward Kaepernick during the last 4 years. It begins with the night time his beforehand undetected protesting was observed by a reporter.

MORE: Why did Colin Kaepernick kneel?

Colin Kaepernick kneeling timeline

Aug. 26, 2016 — Kaepernick, who on the time is coming into his sixth NFL season, all with the 49ers, sits on the bench throughout the nationwide anthem earlier than San Francisco’s preseason residence sport towards Inexperienced Bay. It isn’t the primary time he has sat throughout the anthem, however his motion is observed by reporters.

“I’m not going to face up to take pride in a flag for a rustic that oppresses black individuals and folks of shade,” Kaepernick tells NFL Media after the sport. “To me, that is larger than soccer and it will be egocentric on my half to look the opposite method. There are our bodies on the street and folks getting paid go away and getting away with homicide.”

Aug. 27, 2016 — The 49ers and the NFL difficulty statements on Kaepernick’s protest the night time earlier than. From the crew: “The nationwide anthem is and all the time will likely be a particular a part of the pre-game ceremony. It is a chance to honor our nation and mirror on the good liberties we’re afforded as its residents. In respecting such American ideas as freedom of faith and freedom of expression, we acknowledge the proper of a person to decide on and take part, or not, in our celebration of the nationwide anthem.”

From the league: “Gamers are inspired however not required to face throughout the taking part in of the nationwide anthem.”

Aug. 30, 2016 — Former Seahawks participant and Inexperienced Beret Nate Boyer writes an open letter to Kaepernick from the angle of a supportive army member. The 2 meet in individual a day later, and Boyer talks Kaepernick into altering his methodology of protest from sitting to kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem out of respect.

“We sorta got here to a center floor the place he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” Boyer tells HBO. “Troopers take a knee in entrance of a fallen brother’s grave, , to indicate respect. Once we’re on a patrol, , and we go right into a safety halt, we take a knee, and we pull safety.”

Sept. 1, 2016 — Kaepernick proceeds together with his new methodology of protest, kneeling fairly than sitting, earlier than the 49ers’ closing preseason sport, a highway contest towards the Chargers. This time he’s joined by San Francisco security Eric Reid. This turns into the duo’s methodology of protest for the complete season.

Sept. 1, 2016 — After the Chargers sport, Kaepernick pledges to donate $1 million of his 2016 wage to organizations he believes might help his trigger. “The media painted this as I am anti-American, anti-men and girls of the army, and that is not the case in any respect,” he says. “I notice that women and men of the army exit and sacrifice their lives and put themselves in hurt’s method for my freedom of speech and my freedoms on this nation, and my freedom to sit down or take a knee. So I’ve the utmost respect for them. …

“The message is we now have loads of points on this nation that we have to cope with. We’ve lots of people which can be oppressed. We’ve lots of people that are not handled equal, given equal alternatives. Police brutality is a big factor that must be addressed. There are loads of points that should be talked about, to be dropped at life, and we have to repair these.”

Sept. three, 2016 — First-year 49ers coach Chip Kelly provides Blaine Gabbert the beginning QB job over Kaepernick, who continues to be recovering a pair of offseason surgical procedures (thumb, knee) on prime of the shoulder surgical procedure that ended his 2015 season. “I believe (Gabbert’s) grasp and command of what we’re doing, I believe he is a very good match for what we need to get achieved,” Kelly says. “I’ve loads of confidence in what he can do with us offensively.”

Sept. 5, 2016 — President Barack Obama defends Kaepernick’s protest. “He is exercising his constitutional proper to make a press release,” Obama says at a information convention throughout the G20 summit in China. “I believe there’s a lengthy historical past of sports activities figures doing so. I believe there are loads of methods you are able to do it in relation to the flag and nationwide anthem.”

Sept. 7, 2016 — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell breaks his silence and points his first public feedback on Kaepernick’s protests. “I do not essentially agree with what he’s doing,” Goodell says, including, “I help our gamers after they need to see change in society, and we do not dwell in an ideal society. Alternatively, we imagine very strongly in patriotism within the NFL. I personally imagine very strongly in that.”

Sept. 11, 2016 — On the primary Sunday of the 2016 season, many NFL gamers comply with Kaepernick’s lead and protest racial injustice throughout the nationwide anthem earlier than their video games.

Sept. 12, 2016 — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says Kaepernick and different gamers protesting throughout the nationwide anthem ought to go away the nation. “You recognize, you might be speaking a couple of main sport, perhaps the main sport, and once you see that and it results in loads of different issues,” Trump says. “I believe it is a fantastic lack of respect and appreciation for our nation and I actually stated they need to strive one other nation, see in the event that they prefer it higher. See how effectively they will be doing. See if they’ll be making $20 million being a second-string quarterback.”

Sept. 22, 2016 — Time Journal places Kaepernick on the duvet of its Oct. 5 difficulty.

Sept. 27, 2016 — Kaepernick responds to Trump’s declare that the protests are “an absence of respect” for the US. “He all the time says make America nice once more,” Kaepernick says of the presidential candidate. “Effectively America has by no means been nice for individuals of shade. That is one thing that must be addressed. Let’s make America nice for the primary time.”

Oct. 7, 2016 — Kaepernick agrees to restructure his contract with the 49ers. The brand new deal eliminates his assured cash for 2017, voids the final three years of the contract and provides Kaepernick the proper to decide out after 2016. Previous to the renegotiation, Kaepernick protects himself with a $7.5 million loss-of-value insurance coverage coverage.

Oct. 11, 2016 — Kelly declares Kaepernick will make his season debut because the 1-Four 49ers’ starter in Week 6 towards the Payments. He completes solely 13 of 29 passes in a 45-16 loss however stays San Francisco’s starter the remainder of the season.

Nov. eight, 2016 — Kaepernick chooses to not vote within the 2016 presidential election. “It was embarrassing to observe that these are our two candidates,” he says of Trump and Hillary Clinton. “Each are confirmed liars, and it nearly looks like they’re attempting to debate who’s much less racist. And at this level … you must choose the lesser of two evils. However in the long run, it is nonetheless evil.”

Dec. Four, 2016 — Kaepernick will get benched by Kelly within the fourth quarter of a loss to the Bears that drops the 49ers to 1-11. He begins once more the next week towards the Jets.

March 1, 2017 — Kaepernick’s brokers inform NFL groups he’ll decide out of his contract with the 49ers. The transfer comes two months after Kelly and common supervisor Trent Baalke have been fired by San Francisco and finally changed by new coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch. Earlier experiences had indicated the 49ers deliberate to launch Kaepernick had he not opted out.

(Getty Photographs)

March 18, 2017 — The signings of lesser QBs in NFL free company contribute to the suspicion that Kaepernick is being blackballed by NFL groups. Bleacher Report publishes a narrative on how NFL front-office varieties nonetheless need nothing to do with him after his protests throughout the nationwide anthem.

June 5, 2017 — The Seahawks, a crew that was interested by signing Kaepernick, as an alternative add Austin Davis to the roster. “Colin’s been a unbelievable soccer participant and he’s going to proceed to be,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll says a pair days prior. “Right now, we did not do something with it. We all know the place he’s, who he’s and we had an opportunity to know him way more so. He’s a starter on this league and I can’t think about someone gained’t give him an opportunity to play.”

July 31, 2017 — Together with his crew contemplating signing Kaepernick, Ravens proprietor Steve Bisciotti asks individuals to hope for his franchise. “I do know that we’re going to upset some individuals, and I do know that we’re going to make individuals blissful that we stood up for someone that has the proper to do what he did,” Bisciotti says. “Non-violent protesting is one thing that we now have all embraced. I don’t like the way in which he did it. Personally, I sort of favored it so much when he went from sitting to kneeling. I don’t know, I’m Catholic — we spend loads of time kneeling.”

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh confirms the crew has been involved with Kaepernick.

Aug. 25, 2017 — A 12 months after Kaepernick’s first protest, tons of of his supporters stage a rally outdoors the NFL’s headquarters in New York. “We imagine that the NFL has been complicit within the ostracization of Colin Kaepernick,” says Symone Sanders, a Democratic strategist and CNN political analyst. “And at present, it’s time for the NFL to take a stand.”

Sept. 22, 2017 — Trump tells a bunch of supporters in Alabama that gamers who protest throughout the nationwide anthem needs to be fired: “Get that son of a bitch off the sphere proper now.”

Sept. 24, 2017 — A pair days after Trump says gamers who kneel throughout the nationwide anthem needs to be fired, gamers from quite a few groups protest en masse, with members of a number of groups remaining within the locker room whereas the anthem is performed. That very same day, Trump encourages followers to cease going to NFL video games till gamers “cease disrespecting our Flag & Nation.”

Sept. 26, 2017 — As protests throughout the nationwide anthem proceed at NFL video games, President Trump says Goodell ought to have suspended Kaepernick, who stays unsigned. Trump additionally tweets the next: “The NFL has all types of guidelines and rules. The one method out for them is to set a rule that you would be able to’t kneel throughout our Nationwide Anthem!”

Sept. 26, 2017 — Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones locks arms and kneels with gamers earlier than the taking part in of the nationwide anthem on a Monday night time in Arizona. He and the gamers then stand for the precise anthem.

Oct. eight, 2017 — Vice chairman Mike Pence attends a Colts vs. 49ers sport in Indianapolis however leaves after gamers protest throughout the nationwide anthem. “(President Trump) and I can’t dignify any occasion that disrespects our troopers, our Flag, or our Nationwide Anthem,” Pence tweets, later including, “At a time when so many Individuals are inspiring our nation with their braveness, resolve, and resilience, now, greater than ever, we should always rally round our Flag and every little thing that unites us. Whereas everyone seems to be entitled to their very own opinions, I do not assume it is an excessive amount of to ask NFL gamers to respect the Flag and our Nationwide Anthem.”

Oct. eight, 2017 — Kaepernick confirms to CBS he nonetheless needs to play within the NFL and is figuring out day by day in preparation of a chance.

Oct. 15, 2017 — Kaepernick hires lawyer Mark Geragos and recordsdata a grievance underneath the CBA for collusion towards NFL homeowners. The submitting states that NFL crew homeowners “have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s management and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing consciousness to peculiar establishments nonetheless undermining racial equality in the US.”

Geragos says the grievance was filed “solely after pursuing each doable avenue with all NFL groups and their executives.”

Dec. 6, 2017 — Beyonce makes a shock look at hand Kaepernick the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at Sports activities Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the 12 months ceremony. “With or with out the NFL’s platform, I’ll proceed to work for the individuals,” Kaepernick says.

March 15, 2018 — One other free company interval opens and performs out with out Kaepernick receiving a proposal to signal with a crew.

April 18, 2018 — With Kaepernick current, his attorneys depose Goodell on the NFL’s headquarters. Additionally sitting for depositions at numerous factors within the grievance course of are high-profile NFL names like Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones, Broncos common supervisor John Elway and Patriots proprietor Robert Kraft.

Could 2, 2018 — After Reid goes by the primary waves of free company unsigned, the NFLPA recordsdata a grievance on the security’s behalf. Reid is being represented by Kaepernick’s lawyer.

Could 23, 2018 — The NFL declares a brand new rule towards kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem. It provides gamers the choice of staying within the locker room, as an alternative. “We wish individuals to be respectful to the nationwide anthem,” Goodell says. “We wish individuals to face. That’s all personnel, and ensure they deal with this second in a respectful trend. That’s one thing we expect we owe. We’ve been very delicate in ensuring we give gamers selections, however we do imagine that that second is vital and one we’re going to deal with.”

A day later, Trump praises the league’s new anthem stance.

Aug. three, 2018 — Customers notice Kaepernick’s title has been edited out of a tune on the soundtrack of EA Sports activities’ “Madden NFL 19,” evidently for the second 12 months in a row. His title is finally added again to the tune within the sport.

Aug. 9, 2018 — The NFL releases a press release that says gamers is not going to be disciplined for protesting throughout the nationwide anthem regardless of the league’s coverage: “The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Gamers Affiliation relating to the anthem and problems with equality and social justice which can be of concern to many Individuals. Whereas these discussions proceed, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or implementing any membership work guidelines that would lead to gamers being disciplined for his or her conduct throughout the efficiency of the anthem. 

“In the meantime, there was no change within the NFL’s coverage relating to the nationwide anthem. The anthem will proceed to be performed earlier than each sport, and all participant and non-player personnel on the sphere at the moment are anticipated to face throughout the presentation of the flag and efficiency of the anthem. Personnel who don’t want to take action can select to stay within the locker room.”

Aug. 30, 2018 — The NFL’s request for a abstract judgment dismissing Kaepernick’s grievance is rejected by an unbiased arbitrator, permitting the case to maneuver ahead to trial.

Sept. three, 2018 — Nike makes use of Kaepernick because the face of an advert marketing campaign. The reactions vary from applause to burning footwear.

Sept. 27, 2018 — Kaepernick congratulates Reid on being signed by the Panthers. “Congratulations to my brother, an All-Professional security who ought to have been signed the primary day of free company, who has signed a soccer contract,” Kaepernick writes on Instagram. “He has was the FIRST individual to kneel alongside me. Eric is a social justice warrior, continues to help his spouse, two lovely daughters and communities in want.”

Feb. 15, 2019 — Kaepernick and Reid attain settlements of their collusion grievances towards the NFL. “For the previous a number of months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” lawyer Mark Geragos and the NFL say in a joint assertion. “Because of these discussions, the events have determined to resolve the pending grievances. The decision of this matter is topic to a confidentiality settlement so there will likely be no additional remark by any get together.”

March 21, 2019 — The Wall Road Journal experiences the NFL paid lower than $10 million to settle the grievances of Kaepernick and Reid.

Aug. eight, 2019 — Kaepernick sends message to NFL groups when he tweets an intense exercise video. “5 a.m. 5 days every week. For 3 years. Nonetheless prepared,” he says within the tweet.

Aug. 9, 2019 — Requested about Kaepernick’s message the day earlier than, Trump claims he would “like to see” the QB again within the NFL. “Provided that he’s ok,” Trump says. “If he was ok, they’d rent him. Why wouldn’t he play if he was ok? I believe if he’s ok, I do know the homeowners – I do know (Patriots proprietor Robert) Kraft, I do know so most of the homeowners — if he’s ok, they’d signal him. I do know these individuals. They might signal him in a heartbeat. They might do something they will to win video games. So I’d prefer to see it.”

Oct. 9, 2019 — Citing Kaepernick, Rihanna confirms she turned down an opportunity to be the Tremendous Bowl 54 halftime performer. “I could not dare try this,” she tells Vogue. “For what? Who beneficial properties from that? Not my individuals. I simply could not be a sellout. I could not be an enabler. There’s issues inside that group that I don’t agree with in any respect, and I used to be not about to go and be of service to them in any method.”

Nov. 13, 2019 — ESPN experiences the NFL has organized a exercise for Kaepernick so groups can assess his “readiness” and “degree of curiosity” in a possible return to the league. Kaepernick receives phrase of the exercise in Atlanta just some days forward of time, however he expresses his pleasure “to see the top coaches and GMs” who may attend.

After the league apparently reverses course on sending Kaepernick an inventory of crew officers would attend the exercise, Reid amongst others turns into suspicious of the NFL’s motives. “It is disingenuous,” Reid says. “They need the looks of giving Colin an opportunity, however they provide him two hours’ discover and inform (him) it must be on a Saturday after they know decision-makers are touring. So is that this actual? We’ll see.”

Nov. 18, 2019 — On the morning of the exercise, Kaepernick and his representatives determine to maneuver the situation on brief discover. Kaepernick’s camp says it modified venues as a result of the NFL was not permitting for full transparency (particularly, media entry and appropriate video recording) on the Falcons’ facility. Kaepernick additionally objected to the non-standard harm waiver the league wished him to signal. Solely among the crew representatives who got here to observe Kaepernick comply with him from the Falcons’ facility in Flowery Department, Ga., to the sphere at Charles R. Drew Excessive Faculty in Riverdale, Ga.

“I have been prepared for 3 years. I have been denied for 3 years,” Kaepernick says after the exercise on the new location. “Everyone knows why. I got here on the market and confirmed it at present in entrance of all people. Cease working from the reality. Cease working from the individuals.”

Could 29, 2020 — Kaepernick defends protests after George Floyd’s dying by the hands of Minneapolis police. “When civility results in dying, revolting is the one logical response,” Kaepernick says. “The cries for peace will rain down, and after they do, they are going to land on deaf ears, as a result of your violence has introduced this resistance. We’ve the proper to struggle again! Relaxation in energy George Floyd.”

Could 30, 2020 — The NFL releases a press release on the dying of Floyd and the following world protests, and the league winds up with heavy doses of Kaepernick in its mentions, with most of the reactions within the vein of, “You possibly can have led the struggle towards police brutality and racial injustice 4 years in the past, however as an alternative you labored towards peaceable protesters like Kaepernick.” The 49ers get the same reminder after they take part in Black Tuesday.

June 5, 2020 — Goodell affords one other assertion, this time by way of video, after the NFL is named out by a bunch of star gamers requesting a extra honest response. “We, the Nationwide Soccer League, admit we have been mistaken for not listening to NFL gamers earlier, and encourage all to talk out and peacefully protest,” Goodell says. Many criticize Goodell for not particularly mentioning Kaepernick’s title.

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