Owner Mark Davis says he's given Raiders blessing to sign Colin Kaepernick since 2017

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis said he gave his “blessing” to his front office to sign Colin Kaepernick and has done so since 2017.

Davis, who took over the team in 2011 from his father Al, told ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez he has no problems signing the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback since he became a free agent after the 2016 season.

“Since 2017, I’ve told the coaches and general managers that if they want to hire Colin Kaepernick, they have my blessing,” Davis said.

Kaepernick officially opted out of his contract after 2016, though the 49ers were ready to release him if he didn’t. It was the same season he began taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. He hasn’t played since.

Derek Carr has been the Raiders’ starting quarterback since 2014. In the past three seasons, the Raiders have used EJ Manuel, A.J. McCarron and Mike Glennon as his backup. Heading into the 2020 season, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden currently has Marcus Mariota and Nathan Peterman as backups.

The nation’s recent reckoning with racism, police brutality and social justice issues has brought Kaepernick’s silent protest back into the spotlight. Certain players have a better understanding of what the protest meant in the first place and others have explained why they felt at the time they couldn’t join the quarterback.

That’s changed with a growing list of star athletes saying they plan to kneel during the national anthem this fall. After commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this week he encourages signing Kaepernick, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said the free agent is on the team’s workout list.

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis is supportive of signing Colin Kaepernick, he said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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