NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is encouraging teams to pick up former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the movement to kneel during the pre-game playing of the National Anthem.
Kaepernick has not played since being let go in 2017 by the San Francisco 49ers, the Super Bowl 54 runner-ups. He claims he was blackballed by teams and organizations for taking a political stance against police brutality.
“If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then it’s gonna take a team to make that decision,” Goodell told ESPN. “I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is encouraging teams to sign QB Colin Kaepernick.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 16, 2020
Roger continued: “If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome him to that table and to help us, guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in the communities. We have invited him in before, and we want to make sure that everybody’s welcome at that table and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues that have been around for a long time.”
“But I hope we’re at a point now where everybody’s committed to making long-term, sustainable change,” the commissioner added.
Earlier this month, Goodell released a video apologizing on behalf of the NFL for not doing a better job of listening to players’ concerns on racial inequality. Afterward, he was criticized for not mentioning Kaepernick by name.
In Monday’s interview, he praised Kaepernick and others for raising issues such as racism and injustice.
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“What they were talking about and what they were protesting and what they were trying to bring attention to was playing out right in front of us — and tragically,” Goodell said of why the NFL chose to speak up. “And so all of us saw that, and it was difficult for all of us. And so that was an important point for all of us.”
Watch his comments below:
BizPac Review reports the reason Kaepernick has not yet been hired back by any team has less to do with his political antics and more to do with his on-field performance:
NFL analysts say Kaepernick was a dismal performer with the 49ers who would have been released based on poor performance had he not opted out.
In 2017, sports journalist Jason Whitlock — who’s black — said NFL teams did not want to hire Kaepernick because he’s a mediocre quarterback. Race and his kneeling antics had nothing to do with it.
“This is simply a case of a guy who’s not good enough,” Whitlock said. “His talents aren’t good enough to justify all the attention and noise and controversy. Tim Tebow [who’s white] ran into this exact same issue.”