Fact Check

NFL Refuses Kaepernick's Request for Active Status?

As of this writing, Kaepernick hasn't played for an NFL team since January 2017.

Published Sept. 11, 2023

Colin Kaepernick participates in a throwing exhibition during half time of the Michigan spring football game at Michigan Stadium on April 2, 2022 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Jaime Crawford/Getty Images)
Colin Kaepernick participates in a throwing exhibition during half time of the Michigan spring football game at Michigan Stadium on April 2, 2022 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Image Via Jaime Crawford/Getty Images)
Claim:
In September 2023, the NFL denied Colin Kaepernick's request for active status.

On Sep. 9, 2023, the Dunning-Kruger Times published an article claiming that the National Football League (NFL) denied football player Colin Kaepernick's request for active status. Kaepernick has not played for a NFL team since January 2017, which has led to the suspicion that he was blackballed by team owners for kneeling during the national anthem beginning in August 2016:

NFL Refuses Kaepernick's Request for Active Status: "He Should Sell Hair Products"

Colin Kaepernick was denied a return to "active status" by the NFL's ethics committee this week, ending any hopes the former quarterback has of participating in professional football for at least another season.

"Active status means he can try out, apply for coaching positions, pursue endorsements, and other league-related things," said Deputy Commissioner Joe Barron, "We denied his petition for the 7th year in a row. He should go sell hair products."

When we searched Facebook for the article's headline, we found that a number of users apparently believed that the NFL had told Kaepernick that he should sell hair products instead of trying to play for the league.

However, the article was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The Dunning-Kruger Times describes its content as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical.

We've previously fact-checked other satirical claims about Kaepernick. For example, we previously fact-checked one satirical claim written by SpaceXMania about whether Kaepernick had vowed never to kneel during the national anthem again.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

Sources

"About Us." Dunning-Kruger-Times.Com, https://dunning-kruger-times.com/about-us/. Accessed 11 Sept. 2023.

Ibrahim, Nur. "Colin Kaepernick Vows Never To Kneel During National Anthem Again?" Snopes, 8 Sept. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/colin-kaepernick-kneel-national-anthem/.

Rhoden, William C. "How Will Black Quarterbacks Use Their Influence?" Andscape, 24 Feb. 2023, https://andscape.com/features/how-will-black-quarterbacks-use-their-influence/.

Wilner, Barry. "Colin Kaepernick: Timeline of a Gesture and Its Echoes." AP News, 7 June 2020, https://apnews.com/article/f9bbe38b748072531b07713736409181.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.