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Colin Kaepernick sits for rare interview, pleads for NFL opportunity — even backup QB: 'The NFL’s supposed to be a meritocracy'

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Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick, former NFL star-turned-Black Lives Matter activist, has made a direct and public plea to return to the NFL — even if he has to play a backup quarterback position, NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk reported.

He made the remarks for the "I Am Athlete" podcast.

What are the details?

In an interview that aired Monday, Kaepernick told Brandon Marshall, Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, and Adam "Pacman" Jones that he "absolutely" wants to play professional football for the NFL.

“That’s without question," he said, noting that he wouldn't have spent the last five years training to compete at his "highest level."

"You don’t do that if you don’t have a passion, [if] you don’t believe you’re gonna find a way on that field," he added. "It’s a passion. Like, you had those dreams from when you were a kid. I mean, like, I’m gonna be an NFL player, and I’m gonna win a Super Bowl. And for me, I have unfinished business on that front. I’ve been to the Super Bowl. We were one play away. I need to finish that.”

Marshall at one point asked Kapeernick just how far he'd go in order to get his proverbial foot in the door, inquiring whether he'd take a low-salary position in order to do so.

“I know I have to find my way back in,” Kaepernick admitted. “So, yeah, if I have to come in as a backup, that fine. But that’s not where I’m staying. And when I prove that I’m a starter, I want to be able to step on the field as such. I just need that opportunity to walk through the door. ... More than anything, we’re just looking for a chance to walk through a door. I’ll handle the rest from there.”

He added that chances seem few and far between, as no teams have brought him in for a workout.

"No team has brought me in for an opportunity," he said. "I had the one meeting with Seattle in 2017. And out of that, Pete Carroll said, ‘Hey, he’s a starter, we have a starter.’ And things moved on from there. But they don’t have a starter right now.”

Marshall, according to the outlet, then played the role of a fictional GM to pose questions to Kaepernick of "What about our fan base?" and "What do we say to our fan base?" over backlash for his political activism.

“You have End Racism in the back of your end zone,” Kaepernick answered. “You have Black Lives Matter on your helmet. Everything I’ve said should be in alignment with what you’re saying publicly. It’s a $16 billion business. When I first took a knee, my jersey went to No. 1. When I did the deal with Nike, their value increased by $6 billion. Six billion, with a B. ... So if you’re talking about the business side, it shows [it’s] beneficial. If you’re talking about the playing side, come in [and] let me compete. You can evaluate me from there. The NFL’s supposed to be a meritocracy. Come in, let me compete. If I’m not good enough, get rid of me. But let me come in and show you.”

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016.

Colin Kaepernick: Hopes of A 2022 NFL Comeback | I AM ATHLETE www.youtube.com

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