Time for NFL to bring back Kaepernick?

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Time for NFL to bring back Kaepernick?

NFL Commissioner Encourages Teams to Sign Kaepernick

In light of the ongoing “Black Lives Matter” protests centered around the death of George Floyd, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he supports and encourages teams to sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, 32, became a polarizing figure during the 2016 season when, as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, he kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial inequality. Kaepernick has not played since and many feel that he was blacklisted by the NFL.

In a conversation with Mike Greenberg for ESPN’s “The Return of Sports” special, Goodell said it would be up to a team to sign Kaepernick and said he welcomes Kaepernick’s voice on discussions of social issues.

“Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s gonna take a team to make that decision,” Goodell said. “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.

“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.”

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 commended Kaepernick and others for raising issues such as racism and injustice.

“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.”