Alastair Talbot, Daily Mail, October 31, 2021
Colin Kaepernick has compared the NFL Draft and training camp to slavery in his new Netflix special, with one scene showing players being paraded in front of coaches and scouts before they’re seen in shackles on an auction block.
The Netflix special, Colin in Black & White, goes into the former NFL star’s childhood from high school to the events that led him onto to become an advocate for social justice.
Kaepernick – who earned an average annual salary of $19 million – became a controversial figure in the NFL in 2016, when he started kneeling during the playing of the US national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
A clip from the new special, released on October 29, Kaepernick says that what coaches and scouts don’t want players to understand that the NFL Draft and training camp establishes a ‘power dynamic’.
‘Before they put you on the field, teams poke, prod, and examine you searching for any defect that might affect your performance,’ Kaepernick says of NFL owners and coaches while walking through a staged NFL practice field.
‘No boundary respect,’ Kaepernick continued. ‘No dignity left intact.’
Then a line of NFL prospects, all of them black and who are played by paid actors, walk by Kaepernick before altering into slaves for sale at an auction with shackles on while white slave owners examine and place bids on them.
The average NFL player stands to earn a median salary of around $900,000 a year. Currently, 34 players in the NFL are paid more than $20 million annually.
Later in the video, the owners start lashing at the players with whips as Kaepernick tries to draw a comparison between the abuse slaves suffered at the hands of their owners in the US and the NFL Scouting Combine, a a week-long showcase that determines which upcoming prospects are drafted into the league.
Kaepernick has not played a professional NFL game since the end of the 2017 season when he opted out of the final year of his 49ers contract to become a free agent.
His hopes of becoming a free agent were dashed when he failed to get picked up by any other team. In 2017, he filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing all 32 team owners of colluding to blackball him from the league in retaliation for the controversial protests. Although he was picked for tryouts in Atlanta in 2019, the sides disagreed on several aspects of the workout, leading to a late change of location and lower attendance by scouts.
As the clip from the Netflix special went viral, Kaepernick was blasted on social media.