The 2017 NFL regular season gets underway Thursday, and just like every day that preceded it these last six months, Colin Kaepernick remains out of work.

The reasons span the gamut, from "He just hasn't been a very good quarterback in recent seasons" to "NFL teams are blackballing him for his decision to take a knee during the national anthem as a way to protest social injustice" -- and everything between.

Hall of Famer and former Steelers running back Franco Harris was asked in a recent interview about the theory that Kaepernick had been blackballed. And while Harris conceded that the United States had unresolved social issues, respecting the country by standing for the national anthem was important.

"If someone has a certain stance they want to take, that's fine," Harris told's John Ziegler this week. "When he puts that suit on, it's not just about him, his position and the things that he wants to back and wants to believe in, because the team has to come first."

Like other critics, Harris contends that Kaepernick should have chosen another venue to protest, one that didn't include the NFL. So how would those '70s and '80s Steelers' teams have handled a player taking a knee during the anthem?

Swiftly and face-to-face, to hear Harris tell it.

"We had two of the meanest guys in football, who I think would've dealt with it that way, and that would've been Joe Greene and Jack Lambert," Harris said. Another Hall of Famer, Browns great Jim Brown, said last month that  Kaepernick needs to decide if he wants to be a football player or an activist.

"Colin has to make up his mind, whether he's truly an activist or whether he's a football player," Brown told The Post Game. "If you try to be both in a situation -- football is commercial, you have owners, you have fans, and you want to honor that if you're making that kind of money. If you have a cause, I think you should organize it, present it in a manner where it's not only you sitting on one knee, but a lot of people that are going to get behind each other and do something about it. 

Current Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has had no comment on Kaepernick's protest -- or other players that have followed him.

"I have no reaction. You know, a lot of people have personal opinions, and it's just that — it's personal opinions," Tomlin said last month, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Chris Adamski. "If I don't think mine adds any value to the discussion, I will keep it to myself and not add it to the fray."

Meanwhile, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is convinced that Kaepernick should be on an NFL roster right now but isn't "because of his protests."

And even though Kaepernick remains out of the league, players continue to take a knee during the anthem, including Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and 49ers safety Eric Reid -- and some of their teammates have stood with them in solidarity.