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Colin Kaepernick has been under the scrutiny of media and fans alike ever since he protested the national anthem by taking a knee during the 49ers last game of the 2016 season. His contract was not renewed, and he eventually sued the NFL for blackballing him.

Although the NFL denies that they prevented Kaepernick from being hired, it’s pretty obvious when one of the game’s best players on the season, taking the 49ers to multiple super bowls during his time on the team, doesn’t get renewed or get offers from any other team. Was his protest of America’s favorite anthem the real reason he was banned from playing in the NFL?

Kaepernick has been a long supporter of the use of supplements to enhance his stamina, ability and strength. In 2013, he starred in an ad campaign for the product MusclePharm, which claims its protein power provides power and intensity to athlete’s performance. Many athletes are supporters of taking nutritional supplements to enhance their ability to play, including Tom Brady and Shalane Flanagan.

While some say that taking additional vitamins and nutrients, many stand by their performance effectiveness. Lauren Brown from SUPPLEMENTNATION explains that as the supplement is digested, the elements such as protein and iron are absorbed by the intestines and then transferred to the blood, where they are circulated and deposited throughout the body. By adding more of the nutrients which the body needs (such as protein for tissue formation) to perform various activities, supplements allow the body to perform at a higher rate (such as building more muscle).

While supplements are not yet banned by the NFL, they are very strict about Performance Enhancing Drugs, or PED, and all participating athletes must be regularly tested for them in order to play. The NFL regularly punishes players who don’t follow the rules. Just last month Cardinal’s Center Back Patrick Peterson was suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy.

In Kaepernick’s case, the NFL did not suspend him as their rules currently still allow the use of body treatments such as supplement use, cupping, acupuncture, etc. Inside sources to the NFL hint that the commission is attempting to make effective supplements completely illegal, and the NFL adds more substances to their ban list every year.

The court case between Kaepernick and the NFL case was settled outside of court in February, earning him less than 10 million dollars total with no current prospects of being rehired by a national team. While Kapernick’s recent endorsement deal with Nike has had great success, the future of his career as a player is, as of now, still unknown.