The Seahawks reportedly postponed or scrapped a scheduled visit for Colin Kaepernick after the ex-49ers quarterback declined to stop kneeling during the national anthem, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
In a separate report, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the Seahawks did postpone a visit, but “it was not because he said he declined to stop kneeling.” Seattle Times’ Seahawks reporter Bob Condotta also said Seattle spoke with Kaepernick, but added the team hasn’t ruled him out as an option and “the hope is he can still be brought in for a visit.”
#Seahawks brass, John Schneider and Pete Carroll, want Colin Kaepernick to consider how he wants to proceed on everything (not just anthem) and get together at a later date when his plans are formed. Clearly, Seattle has accepted players speaking out for what they believe.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 12, 2018
This isn’t the first time Kaepernick has been connected to the Seahawks. The team reportedly brought Kaepernick in for a visit in May 2017, though did not sign him.
“At this time, we didn’t do anything with it, but we know where he is and who he is and we had a chance to understand him much more so. He’s a starter in this league,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said at the time. “We have a starter, but he is a starter in this league and I can’t imagine somebody won’t give him a chance to play.”
The topic of signing Kaepernick was brought up again earlier this month (of note: it was of last year’s meeting, and prior to Schefter’s report) during an interview between Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Dave Ross on 97.3 KIRO FM.
When asked if Kaepernick was ever seriously considered as the backup quarterback, Schneider said he “absolutely” was, but the team ultimately went in a different direction.
“I don’t think [his activism worked against him]” Schneider said. “We’re concentrating on football. People aren’t going to agree with what you’re doing all the time. You know what I mean? We have to do what we feel is right for our football team and we can’t get into too much about what people are going to think.”
Is Kaepernick being blackballed?
Beginning in August 2016, Kaepernick, then with the 49ers, began holding a silent protest during the national anthem to call attention to racism and police brutality against communities of color. The protest drew both criticism and support, and gained widespread attention over the course of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. By the close of 2018, a number of NFL players – and people across the country – had joined the protest (with Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and Jeremy Lane being notable local participants).
Kaepernick, 30, remains unsigned despite being a former starter, which has led many to question whether NFL teams have blackballed him as a result of his protest. Kaepernick has since filed a grievance against the league.