NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is encouraging NFL teams to consider signing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick following the league changing its stance on kneeling protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
During an interview with ESPN, Goodell was asked about the video he released acknowledging the league’s previous failure to listen to NFL players who silently kneeled during the National Anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the U.S.
Following the Kaepernick-led protests, the now-former star quarterback was blackballed from the NFL and has remained unsigned since 2017.
Not only is Goodell admitting that the league was wrong to condemn players for protesting, but he is also welcoming Kaepernick back to the league, encouraging NFL teams to sign him.
“If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s gonna take a team to make that decision,” Goodell said. “I welcome that, support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that.”
Goodell also admitted that his stance changed after seeing, firsthand, what players were attempting to raise awareness about.
“Our country was going through something where we were seeing these things that our players had highlighted, including Colin and so many others,” Goodell said.
He added, “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 and all of us saw that and it was difficult for all of us.”
Watch the video below:
Goodell’s latest interview comes one week after the release of a compelling public service announcement from NFL players, as previously reported on IJR.
The collective visual effort called for NFL officials to admit they were “wrong” for condemning Kaepernick while posing the questions, “What will it take? For one of us to be murdered by police brutality? What if I was George Floyd?”
See the NFL players’ video below:
One day after the players’ video was released, Goodell released a response condemning racism while admitting that the league was wrong.
“We the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said. “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.”
See Goodell’s previous remarks below:
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
However, President Donald Trump disagreed with the league’s latest attempt to reach a common ground with players, as previously reported on IJR. Over the weekend, the president vowed not to watch the NFL games for the upcoming season.
Despite Trump’s disapproval, Goodell has made it clear that the league is committed to working with its players to make a positive impact on communities.