NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Says He Welcomes, Encourages Teams To Sign Kaepernick
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National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell says he would welcome a team signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
During an interview with ESPN, Goodell was asked about the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, and whether the league would allow players to protest "police brutality."
The conversation then led to Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started kneeling during the national anthem.
Goodell said he would welcome and encourage teams to sign Kaepernick, who has been out of the league since 2017.
“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,” Goodell said. “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.
Last week, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said he had received a call about Kaepernick, hinting that the former player might have a future in the NFL.
“I got a phone call today asking and inquiring about the situation,” he said. “I know somebody is interested, so we'll see what happens with that.”
Although frequently condemned by President Trump and others, the practice of kneeling during the anthem has gained some support given the current social movement.
Goodell apologized for the league’s opposition to the demonstrations earlier this month.
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter,” he said in a video statement. “I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country.”
Last week, the United States Soccer Federation announced it would no longer require players to stand for the National Anthem.
And with the NFL seemingly headed for teams and players to kneel during the national anthem next season, President Donald Trump says he is done watching.
“I won’t be watching much anymore!” he said in response to a tweet from WEAR ABC that said, “Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is calling out the U.S. Soccer Federation for allowing its players not to stand for the national anthem.”
Trump was also incensed by the NFL’s new stance on the National Anthem.
“And it looks like the NFL is heading in that direction also, but not with me watching!” he said.