Colin Kaepernick signs $146 million multi-year contract with Chicago Bears
CHICAGO -- On Wednesday, the Chicago Bears announced they'd hired NFL star Colin Kaepernick as the team's starting quarterback for the 2018-2019 for a record-breaking $146 million contract, to be paid over the course of five years. Kaepernick's new contract comes almost a year after he inspired the country to more closely examine issues of racial injustice by taking a knee during the pledge of allegiance, a move President Hillary Rodham Clinton praised as "courageous and patriotic."
At a press conference with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who openly wept, Kaepernick said he was elated to be going out on the field again.
"In a league where most of the players are black, and all the team owners are rich, old, white men, the Chicago Bears' decision to pursue athletic excellence and risk offending white supremacists is signals that Black Lives Matter is finally going mainstream," Kaepernick told reporters.
Head Coach John Fox said that the team's owner, Virginia Halas McCaskey, was thrilled to welcome Kaepernick to the team, saying she intended to join him in taking a knee during the pledge of allegiance.
"He's an excellent player. We're the lucky ones. It's amazing that no one else scooped him up," Fox said.
Kaepernick became a free agent after opting out of his contract with San Francisco 49ers in 2016 after the team criticized him for becoming "a distraction."
Kaepernick's stunning career began at the University of Nevada, where as a college player, he was named the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year twice and became the only player in NCAA Division I FBS history to amass 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in a career. After graduating, he was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.