Colin Kaepernick named to Time’s most influential list, but some on Twitter mock his unemployment

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is an NFL free agent, and if he’s not signed by a team for the 2017 season, there’s a possibility Kaepernick’s pro career will be finished.

But if we’re talking about NFL influential players, there’s nobody that can top Kaepernick. At least as far as Time magazine is concerned. That’s because he was named Thursday to the magazine’s list of top 100 most influential people in the world.

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the playing of the national anthem during the 2016 season, leading to the ire of President Donald Trump, other politicians, and opposing fans.

But here’s what University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, who previously coached Kaepernick in San Francisco, wrote in his Time essay:

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation’s history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust …

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests. …

I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story. How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.

Others on Twitter, though, weren’t quite as enthralled by Kaepernick, and they pointed to his joblessness as proof that Time’s list is flawed.

Some NFL players are concerned Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job. They’re convinced it’s not an accident and instead point to collusion.

As Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett told ESPN, “He’s been to the Super Bowl, been to the NFC championship. There’s a lot of quarterbacks that don’t have the qualifications that he has but still have jobs. So I tend to think that he’s being blackballed because of his political stance.”

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.