University of Regina alum, Chicago Bears DL Akiem Hicks: Colin Kaepernick’s NFL career ended because he took a knee

Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks believe his team should have signed free agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2017.

Even with Kaepernick’s superior resume, the Bears elected to sign Mike Glennon who anyone can see with their own eyes is a far inferior player.

“We signed Mike Glennon,” Hicks said in disbelief.

“As far as Kaepernick is concerned, it’s not a Chicago problem, it’s an entire league problem. Does he have all of the qualifications that we seem to be looking for in NFL quarterbacks these days? Athletic, can get the ball down the field, he fits a lot of those categories.”

Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns versus 30 interceptions while rushing for 2,300 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns since San Francisco selected him in the second round of 2011 NFL draft. Hicks stated it’s clear to him that Kaepernick lost his NFL career and was fired from the league for peacefully protesting police brutality.

“All I will say is this: we saw it. We watched how it unfolded. We see that he doesn’t have a job now. This isn’t to advocate Kaep getting a job, but he did sacrifice his position for where he is now. His career was ended because of it, in my opinion,” Hicks said.

The 32-year-old Kaepernick was the first player in NFL history to take a knee during the United States national anthem in the San Francisco 49ers final pre-season game on Sep. 1, 2016, protesting racial injustice. Kaepernick has been a free agent since opting out of his contract with the 49ers in March 2017.

“At that time when Kaepernick was taking a knee, I had the same thought that 85 to 90 percent of the league felt at that moment: if I get down on one knee in front of this stadium, I am fired. My job, my career, my life is over: I will be blackballed,” Hicks said.

“When he took a knee, they attempted to silence him. To come out on the other end and watch it actually happen to Kaepernick, it just tells me that my feelings were real. It was the reality and hopefully it won’t be going forward.”

That led to the NFL approving a rule in May 2018 which opened players up to punishment if they chose to kneel during the national anthem. In August of the same year, Kaepernick won a collusion lawsuit by settlement with the NFL for keeping him out of the league.

According to Kaepernick’s representatives, not a single NFL team has offered him a job since he’s been a free agent and began his peaceful protest. He worked out for eight NFL scouts in November 2019, however, no contract came from it.

“I do wonder though, let’s say that his career is past him, how do we rectify that situation? How do we make it better? We’ve seen what’s happened in the sport, we’ve seen how he’s been pushed to the side,” Hicks said.

“I wonder if he gets a job. I wonder if now they say, ‘Hey, we need to bring you back in. We’ve seen the injustice, we’ve seen the wrong, and we want to fix it.'”

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.