Colin Kaerpernick blazed the trail, and Kenny Stills walked it all season.
But their paths have diverged ever since.
While Stills’ decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem to protest police brutality didn’t hurt his bottom line, the same doesn’t appear to be true for Kaepernick.
Two months into free agency, the ex-49ers quarterback is still without a team. Many believe his activism is to blame.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Stills, who signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Dolphins in March, said he’s recently reached out to Kaepernick to express his support.
“I wanted to tell him that I admire everything that he’s been doing,” Stills said. “I gave him my number to reach out to say, ‘Hey, if there’s anything I can do to be a part, I’m here.’ ”
As of Friday morning, Stills had not yet heard back from Kaepernick.
Is Stills surprised that Kaepernick still hasn’t found a team, even though he’s clearly better than many of the quarterbacks who have? Ryan Fitzpatrick became the latest retread to find work, signing with the Buccaneers on Friday.
“I’m not surprised. I felt like, that’s just sometimes the way things go,” Stills said. “Obviously, I’m a supporter of his. He’s a great player, regardless of the things he’s done off the field. I think he should be on a team.”
Stills spoke before participating in the Fins Weekend golf tournament, an annual event that raises funds for the team’s charitable foundation. He’s become one of the team’s most visible — and reliable — members of the community and explained why it’s so important to him on Friday.
“It really just helped me with a tough time we were going through,” Stills explained. “I knew it was coming after taking a knee. I just didn’t realize how bad it was going to be. Getting in the community, working with the kids, was a way that I felt like I could get out and make a change.”