The NFL listed Colin Kaepernick as retired. He is not.
And after Nessa Diab, who is dating Kaepernick, called the NFL out on as much, the league corrected its website. Kaepernick is now listed as an unsigned free agent, which he is.
An internet archive search shows the league listing Kaepernick as retired at least as far back as May 16. Kaepernick has repeatedly maintained his desire to play in the NFL since he began protesting police violence and racial inequality in the United States in 2016.
Kaepernick played out that season with the San Francisco 49ers, then became a free agent. He has remained unsigned since despite repeated quarterback crises around the NFL. He is now 32 years old. In 2018, Kaepernick finished donating $1 million of his own money to causes explicitly aimed at addressing racial inequality.
The process of retiring from the NFL is fairly formal. It’s why one often hears about unsigned veterans coming back midseason, in part, because they never filed retirement papers with the NFL. That process affects players’ pension contributions and reimbursements, and is very much something the league would have record of.
He and Eric Reid received a settlement reportedly less than $10 million, according to The Wall Street Journal, after they filed a civil suit accusing league owners of colluding to keep them out of the league as they had knelt during the playing of the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S.
Kaepernick worked out in front of NFL scouts outside of Atlanta, Georgia midseason last year after the league changed the terms of a workout it had organized in the city. The Steelers were not among the teams in attendance.
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