When asked if he thought Kaepernick should get an opportunity to play again in the NFL, Trump said “only if he’s good enough.”
“Colin has always been prepared to compete at the highest level and is in the best shape of his life," a person familiar with Kaepernick's quest to return to the NFL told USA TODAY Sports on Friday. The person was granted anonymity because of the sensitivity of Kaepernick's comeback efforts.
Kaepernick's last NFL appearance was in Week 17 of the 2016 season when he played for the San Francisco 49ers. Shortly after that season, Kaepernick opted out of his contract as he sought a better deal, but he has since remained a free agent.
“Only if he’s good enough,” Trump said outside the White House. “If he was good enough, they’d hire him. Why wouldn’t he play if he was good enough? I think if he’s good enough, I know the owners – I know (Patriots owner Robert) Kraft, I know so many of the owners – if he’s good enough, they’d sign him. ...
“So I’d like to see it. Frankly, I’d love to see Kaepernick come in, if he’s good enough. But I don’t want to see him come in because somebody thinks it’s a good PR move.”
In August 2016, Trump said Kaepernick "maybe ... should find a country that works better for him. In September 2017, Trump said NFL owners should "get that son of a bitch off the field" when any players protest during the national anthem. Trump said in October 2018 that the NFL “should’ve suspended” Kaepernick for his protests of social inequality during the anthem.
In six seasons with the 49ers, Kaepernick, 31, threw for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns with 31 interceptions, and also ran for 2,300 more yards and 13 rushing scores.