“I’m looking forward to seeing him on the field again. Trust and believe what I said was not in malice.”
After six years with the San Francisco 49ers, including a Super Bowl appearance, Kaepernick finds himself in need of a job. But no team has signed him, though plenty of journeyman quarterbacks have found work. Some commenters say the reason is not his play, but his activism.
Before N.F.L. games last season, Kaepernick knelt, in protest against racism and police brutality, during the playing of the national anthem. That decision proved unpopular with a portion of fans, and perhaps also the largely conservative N.F.L.
Others claim that teams are primarily concerned about Kaepernick’s apparently declining skills. Still, quarterbacks without stellar statistics, like Mike Glennon and Josh McCown, have landed jobs.
Others point to Kaepernick’s athletic style, which has never quite caught on in a league that values quarterbacks with big arms who sit in the pocket. “That style of quarterback, everybody thought was going to take over the N.F.L.,” the former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana told USA Today’s For the Win last week. “The league has figured out how to defend it.”
On Tuesday, Kaepernick posted a definition of Stockholm syndrome on Twitter, the notion that captives often start to identify with their kidnappers. Kaepernick did not elaborate further, but that did not stop plenty of people from speculating that it was a veiled shot at Vick.
“The syndrome is also called ‘traumatic bonding’ or ‘victim brainwashing,’” the definition read.