Goodell Finally Brings Up the Elephant in the Room

NFL commissioner says 'I welcome' a team signing Colin Kaepernick
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2020 11:15 AM CDT
NFL Commish: 'I Welcome' a Team Signing Kaepernick
In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference in Irving, Texas.   (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Some people weren't thrilled that Roger Goodell's recent statement condemning racism and police brutality never brought up Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who started that conversation in the NFL by kneeling as the national anthem played before games. Finally, Goodell is directly addressing the man whose name he neglected to utter. In an interview Monday with Mike Greenberg for ESPN, the league's commissioner said that although the ultimate decision on whether to sign Kaepernick, a free agent since 2017, isn't up to him, he's all for it. "Listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it's going to 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."

And if that scenario doesn't work out? Goodell hopes Kaepernick will still consider coordinating with the NFL to help it deal with these "very complex, difficult" issues. "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. Per Axios, however, Goodell's olive branch should be "taken with a grain of salt," considering that as recently as December, Goodell said the league had "moved on" from Kaepernick. Still, with Americans increasingly coming around to the Black Lives Matter movement, "bringing Kaepernick back into the fold not only feels possible but probable," Axios notes. (Read more Colin Kaepernick stories.)

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