Kobe Bryant Says Colin Kaepernick Is in Shape: He's Waiting on Call from NFL

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2019

Colin Kaepernick, top left, and Kobe Bryant, bottom right, applaud while watching the second round of the US Open tennis championships Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Associated Press

To hear Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant tell it, Colin Kaepernick could still play in the NFL today.

"He's doing well, he's in shape and he's waiting on a call," Bryant said, per Adam Zagoria of the New York Times. "He's been waiting a while." 

Kaepernick and Bryant sat in Naomi Osaka's players' box during her victory over Magda Linette at the U.S. Open on Thursday, per Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.

Kaepernick played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 through 2016 and notably knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

He helped lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl and NFC Championship in back-to-back years during the 2012 and 2013 seasons and had 16 touchdown passes to just four interceptions as recently as the 2016 campaign. However, he has remained unsigned and out of the league since he opted out of his contract in March 2017.

The Nevada product has also been back in headlines since the NFL announced it partnered with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation "to enhance the NFL's live game experiences and to amplify the league's social justice efforts."

The move drew criticism, and Jay-Z said "we've moved past kneeling" to "actionable items" during a joint press conference with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, per TMZ Sports.

Kaepernick appeared to take a jab at the rap mogul while thanking Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid and Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson when he tweeted "they have never moved past the people."

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Reid and Kaepernick sued the NFL for collusion and reached a confidential settlement agreement.

The quarterback still hasn’t signed with a team since reaching the settlement, but he at least has an all-time basketball great as an advocate in Bryant.