Colin Kaepernick, who has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season, says his continued absence is an “indictment” of the league.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who became a controversial figure when he began kneeling for the national anthem before football games, spoke with NPR Tuesday. The interview primarily focused on Kaepernick’s new book, Change the Game, but it also covered his thoughts on the NFL, how his career might have looked if he were still playing, and other topics.

All Things Considered co-host Juana Summers asked Kaepernick if the NFL has changed for the better since he last played more than six years ago.

“I haven’t seen any substantial change,” Kaepernick said. “I think there is a lot of work to do on that front (racial justice). Obviously, not playing and being out of the NFL for six years is an indictment on where they are currently at. So I wouldn’t put them at the forefront of goodwill and best of intentions in how they operate.

Summers also asked the one-time star if he ever wondered what his career might have looked like if he were still playing. Kaepernick admitted he is still working out five days a week awaiting an opportunity to return.

“My focus is always on what I can do moving forward. What can I do to change my present and my future?” he said. “So training at 4:30 to be able to have the opportunity to make a comeback — absolutely. That’s something I do five days a week still. But as far as looking back, that’s not something I do.”

“I’m looking forward to, where can I have an impact? What are my passions? And a great example of that is Change The Game and this book being able to come out, us being able to share this message with the youth. And it becomes a great opportunity for us to be able to create a future that looks different.”


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.