Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick energized his fans on Wednesday by tweeting out a video of one of his intense workouts, in which he made it crystal clear that he’s in top shape and “still ready” to play in the NFL if provided the opportunity.
Kaepernick has been mostly silent about his professional sports career since settling with the NFL and team owners in February over a grievance in which he and former teammate Eric Reid argued that they were blacklisted from the sport for their controversial “take a knee” protests during the national anthem before games.
According to USA Today, both Kaepernick and Reid settled with the league and team owners for an undisclosed amount.
In the video, which has already snagged 2.75 million views, a large clock appears at the beginning that indicated how many days he’s been “denied work,” which read 889 days when the video was posted.
The footage shows 31-year-old Kaepernick performing a variety of intense workouts, including weight lifting and body weight exercises.
Outside of the sports world, Kaepernick first made national headlines in 2016 for being the first player to kneel during the pre-game playing of the national anthem — a move that would spark numerous other NFL players to follow suit.
Kaepernick started the protest as a way to use the NFL’s highly-visible platform to protest racial and social injustice in the United States.
5am. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready. pic.twitter.com/AGczejA1rM
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 7, 2019
The former quarterback explained why he specifically began the movement during an exclusive interview in 2016 with NFL Media.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said after a preseason loss to the Green Bay Packers.
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
"5 a.m., five days a week, for three years. Still ready." Former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been out of work for more than 800 days. But he says he's never stopped being ready to play football. https://t.co/yriyN0sS9w
— CNN (@CNN) August 8, 2019
Kaepernick’s most recent controversy surrounded a sneaker set to be released by Nike, with whom the athlete maintains a lucrative contract, which featured a 13-star “Betsy Ross flag.”
According to Fox Business, Kaepernick was able to reportedly influence Nike executives to halt the release of the shoe, as he claimed the flag represented a time in the United States when slavery was legal.
The sneaker, which was called the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July, was yanked from store inventory days before it was set to be released.
In a statement, Nike explained that they pulled the shoe for fear “that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.”