LeBron James backs Colin Kaepernick: 'NFL is keeping him out'

By @saihoops on
Colin Kaepernick, NFL, LeBron James
December 24, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) reacts following the 22-21 victory against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USA TODAY Sports / Gary A. Vasquez

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has come out in support of discarded quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been instrumental in pre-game player protests in the NFL. According to James, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is being deliberately kept out of the NFL. 

Last month, Kaepernick filed a grievance against NFL owners for collusion, with his team of lawyers citing bylaws in the league's new collective bargaining agreement. However, Kaepernick is not being represented by the NFL Players Association in his fight against the league. 

"I love football, but I'm not part of the NFL. I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing. I do know that. Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that," James told ESPN Sunday after a Cavs practice session. 

Colin Kaepernick still without a job in the NFL

In 2016, Kaepernick, as a member of the Niners, began kneeling during the pre-game national anthem to protest against the rising police brutality toward minorities. After US President Donald Trump asked NFL owners to "fire players" protesting The Star-Spangled Banner, athletes from across sports began taking a collective stance against Trump. During pre-game drills, several NFL players have been sporting "#IMWITHKAP" t-shirts.

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee. That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest," James added.

Colin Kaepernick, who nearly led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl title in 2012, has struggled to find a starting or reserve job in any of the 32 NFL teams. The 30-year-old Kaepernick was recently named the US Citizen of the Year by GQ Magazine.