(Reuters) – Colin Kaepernick remains committed to making a National Football League (NFL) comeback and would accept a role as a backup quarterback to make it happen, according to the latest episode of the “I Am Athlete” podcast.
Kaepernick sparked a polarizing national debate in 2016 when he protested against racial injustice by kneeling during the U.S. national anthem before games and has not played in the NFL since that year.
“I know I have to find my way back in. So, yeah, if I have to come back in as a backup, that’s fine,” Kaepernick, 34, told former NFL players Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson and Pacman Jones on the podcast.
“But that’s not where I’m staying. And when I prove that I’m a starter, I wanna be able to step on the field as such. I just need that opportunity to walk through the door.”
Kaepernick’s protests during the pre-game renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers were aimed at drawing attention to police brutality against minorities.
Kaepernick had a 1-10 record as a starting quarterback in 2016 and has gone unsigned after opting out of his contract that offseason. Many experts believe his political activism is the key reason teams are wary of signing him.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)