Colin Kaepernick is not technically an active player in the NFL in that he is not presently on a roster. However, the NFLPA did not let that stop them from awarding the free agent quarterback and activist with an award this week.
The NFLPA announced (via ProFootballTalk) on Friday that Kaepernick is the recipient of the Week One Community MVP award and the release notes Kaepernick’s “commitment to empowering under-served communities through donations and grassroots outreach.” The union made sure to note that Kaepernick was, in fact, eligible to garner the honor and the criteria listed was that players must be dues-paying members or “either on a current NFL roster or actively seeking employment as a free agent” in the league.
By all accounts, Kaepernick does fit that description, even if he has not yet landed on a team. That is, of course, the overriding controversy in the wake of Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, especially given the ugly state of quarterback depth charts for some teams in the league. Still, he is seeking a new job in the NFL and, given all of the fundraising work that Kaepernick has executed in the community, it is hard to argue with the notion that he would be worthy of acknowledgement.