Michael Thomas on why Colin Kaepernick should be back in NFL

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Peter King is on vacation until July 20, and he lined up some guest writers to fill his Monday spot on Football Morning in America. Today, it’s Michael Thomas, who plays safety for the Houston Texans.

Three months into the 2016 season—my friend Colin Kaepernick’s last in the NFL—the 49ers came to Miami for a game. The Niners were 1-9. We were 6-4 and headed for the playoffs. I entered the NFL on San Francisco’s practice squad in 2012; by 2016, I was in my fourth season playing safety for the Dolphins, and I took the field that afternoon in south Florida knowing our biggest priority on defense was to stop Kap.

In the last four years, Kap’s been blackballed from the NFL and has become an international hero for the oppressed. I’ll get to that subject in a moment, but I want to express what a great player he was when he last played, and why I believe he absolutely must have the chance to get his job in the NFL back. Now.

The pressure on Kap that hot afternoon was enormous. We had won five games in a row. Though he was a great player, he was getting a lot of attention for other reasons. Kap started protesting during the National Anthem that preseason, to draw attention to systemic racism and police brutality, first sitting during the anthem and later kneeling. Eric Reid joined him in San Francisco. It was not a popular stance with the public. Kenny Stills, a wide receiver on our team, and I joined in solidarity in Miami so during the anthem before that game, while I was kneeling, I could look across the field and see Kap doing the same.

That feeling was monumental. We were getting nothing from the league, no statement of support, no willingness to back the players. There was more tension that day, because Kap had previously worn a T-shirt with a photo of a meeting between Fidel Castro and Malcolm X. In south Florida, with such a large Cuban population, anything pro-Castro does not go over well. So that was a massive thing for the Miami media, and he had a heated discussion with a reporter from the Miami Herald during a mid-week press conference that got a lot of attention. That game had extra juice before we lined up on Sunday.

Kap played an incredible game. It might have been his last truly great game in the NFL. He threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and he had his last 100-yard rushing game in the league, with 113 yards on the ground. We were up 31-24 but they had first and goal at the six-yard line with five seconds left and Kap was looking to get them into the end zone, tie the game and send us to overtime. He got the snap and tried to run it in, and for a minute it looked like he was going to do it. But he got tackled by Ndamukong Suh and Kiko Alonso at the two-yard line, and that was the game.

We rushed the field, we were celebrating, and I remember being mad at myself afterwards because by the time we were done with all that, I’m pretty sure Kap was off the field, and we didn’t get to chop it up. Obviously, I was glad we won. When I’m playing against Kap, when I’m playing against anyone, I’m trying to make my plays and win the game as my absolute first priority. But at the same time, Kap’s my guy, and I want him to ball. And I was really happy that he balled, because there was absolutely nothing negative anyone could say about that game. We know the added pressure that came with us taking a knee. If you give them any excuse, they’ll tear you down and demand you get cut. You’re just a distraction.

That season was life-changing for me. Following the back-to-back unjust murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling in the summer of 2016, I knew I had to do something. I was done with t-shirts and hashtags. I was ready to fight, because this was bigger than me. I had zero guarantees in my contract at the time. Miami could cut me at any point and not owe me a thing, not even owe me a goodbye.

I had to make a decision. My parents always raised me to be a leader, to take a stand for what was right regardless of potential punishment, but even they were scared. My wife Gloria and I prayed about it. Here’s what it came down to: If I say that I care about my people, if I say that I care about the Black community, I needed to do something. My daughter would be watching.

To be honest, I had no idea what exactly that something was going to be. Until I saw Colin Kaepernick kneel during the National Anthem. When I heard why he was protesting, that he was fighting against systemic oppression and police brutality, it was an incredible moment of clarity.

Kenny, who has conviction like no other, said to me, “Mike, that’s what we need to do.” Players across the league were having conversations about locking arms, raising fists, but we knew that would distract from the message and allow it to be co-opted. We had to kneel in solidarity with Kap, and we had to have that conviction to know that even if we were going to get bashed, we were in it with our brothers. In our hearts, we knew it was the right thing to do.

In 2016, Colin Kaepernick woke me up.

I pray that we figure out a way to make this NFL season work safely amidst the coronavirus pandemic. I’m a vice president on the board of directors of the NFL Players Association, and we’re talking about that right now. If and when it does, I have no doubt that we’ll hear any number of statements and sentiments from the teams, from the league and from Roger Goodell about racial injustice, about Black Lives Matter, about making change. We’re already hearing them now. Great. It’s the middle of July. But I don’t think any player will really believe the sentiments of the NFL if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t have a job in the league this season.

When I initially spoke with Peter King about writing this column, he wanted to know if I might propose a creative solution to make that job happen for Kap. I said no. The NFL created this problem. The NFL has to solve it. It’s not my job to do that. If the league really feels like it’s going to back the players when it comes to ending racism, Colin should have a job. That’s the only way that the Black community and the players are going to truly believe the NFL is serious about what they say. Otherwise, people will always reference what you did to your own. You have to look in the mirror and clean your own house first.

Like I said, I’ve played against Colin, and he’s a winning quarterback. He wasn’t winning the last time we faced each other, but he’s proven he can compete, and he’s taken his team to the Super Bowl. People love to talk about how long Colin has been out the game, how hard it might be for him to get back to that NFL level. But I know he’s been working and staying in shape. That’s different than actually playing, and I don’t know if his first role when he comes back will be the starting quarterback for a team. But I know for a fact that of all the backup quarterbacks on a roster right now, he’d be one of the best, if not the best. And probably better than some of the second-tier starters.

Read more from Football Morning in America here.

What to know about Super Bowl 2023: Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Super Bowl 2023 is right around the corner! Here's everything you need to know about the big game.
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The NFL is finally back in session and Super Bowl 2023 will be here before we know it! See below for answers to all of your questions about the big game. Be sure to tune to NBC and Peacock every week for Sunday Night Football games this season.

Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America but the excitement starts early on Sundays with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

 

When is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Where is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 will be contested at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona.

Who is performing the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023?

It was announced in September, that international popstar, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Rihanna will headline the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

When was the last time Rihanna released an album?

Rihanna’s most recent album “Anti” came out in 2016. The Barbados native has spent the last few years venturing into various business industries including beauty, fashion, and makeup. Additionally, the superstar welcomed her first child, a boy, in May of 2022.

Why does the NFL use Roman numerals?

AFL and Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt proposed using Roman numerals for each Super Bowl to add pomp and gravitas to the game. Roman numerals were, unsurprisingly, used in ancient Rome as a number system. I stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50 and C for 100. That’s right: In 2066, get ready for Super Bowl C.

Super Bowl V was the first to use Roman numerals. They were retroactively added to the Super Bowl II to IV logos and have been used each year since⁠ until 2016. For Super Bowl L, or 50, the NFL tried out 73 different logos before breaking down and using a plain old “50.”

The Roman numerals for this year’s big game, Super Bowl 57, are LVII.

Which NFL team has the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history?

The Patriots and Steelers are not only familiar with playing on the big stage, but they also know what it takes to come out on top. New England and Pittsburgh are tied for the most Super Bowl victories in the NFL with six each. The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys have won five Lombardi Trophies each and the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants are tied with four Super Bowl championships.

  • New England Patriots: 6
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 6
  • San Francisco 49ers: 5
  • Dallas Cowboys: 5
  • Green Bay Packers: 4
  • New York Giants: 4

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch the NFL on Peacock: Full Sunday Night Football Schedule, live stream info for the 2022 season

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The 2022 NFL Season is in full gear. This week it’s Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a rematch of Super Bowl LV. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. with Football Night in America. Kickoff time is at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

Every Sunday Night Football game this season will be available on both NBC and Peacock. See below for the full 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule as well as additional information on how to watch every game on Peacock.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) – Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – Broncos do just enough to pull off 11-10 win over 49ers

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Chiefs at Buccaneers

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!