Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played an NFL game for the past four years when he began kneeling during the national anthem in protest against police brutality and social injustice. President Trump is all in favor of him returning to the league if he can make the grade.
During an interview with Sinclair correspondent Scott Thuman, the president was asked if he believed Kaepernick “should get another shot in the NFL.”
“If he deserves it, he should. If he has the playing ability,” the president said. “He started off great and then he didn’t end up very great in terms of as a player. He was terrific in his rookie year, I think he was very good in his second year, and then something happened. So his playing wasn’t up to snuff,” reported Fox News.
— Scott Thuman (@ScottThuman) June 17, 2020
Although the president had criticized Kaepernick and other sporting personalities for kneeling during the anthem, he may have had a change of heart. “The answer is absolutely I would. As far as kneeling–I would love to see him get another shot, but obviously, he has to play well. If he can’t play well, I think it would be very unfair.”
NFL EVP @TroyVincentSr addresses the world today, the league’s initiatives to fight social injustice, and Colin Kaepernick.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 16, 2020
In August 2019 the president also told reporters at the White House, “I’d love to see Kaepernick come in if he’s good enough, But I don’t want to see him come in because somebody thinks it’s a good PR move.”
Kaepernick’s last season in the NFL was in 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers. In 2012 he led the team to the Super Bowl, where they lost against the Baltimore Ravens.
League executive Troy Vincent said Tuesday on “The Adam Schefter Podcast” that the NFL is “working” to help the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback “land a spot,” reported Fox News.
“It’s a club decision but this young man is talented enough to play in the National Football League,” he said. “I believed that back in 2016–whenever it was, 2016 or 2017–and I still believe that today. And he just hasn’t had the opportunity to display his talents once again, whether it was in camp or preseason. That’s always been my position—and many of my colleagues’ positions, frankly, (and) the commissioner’s office’s position.”
“But we can’t hire,” he continued. “And again, my comments that I’ve just made, they’ve been documented on the record, in front of a judge, about the work and the efforts that many of us, we’re working on behalf of looking for Colin to land a spot.”
This comes one day after the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed his wish to see the sports star back in the NFL, reported Fox News. “If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s gonna take a team to make that decision,” Goodell told ESPN’s Mike Greenberg on a special edition of “SportsCenter” on Monday. “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that.”
In early June, Goodell admitted the NFL was “wrong” for not listening to protesting players earlier.
A number of players had posted a video to “condemn racism and a systemic oppression of black people … admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting … believe black lives matter.”
Goodall appeared in his own video to apologize for the NFL’s lack of understanding.
“We had spent the weeks prior to that listening, learning, trying to understand all the frustration and fear and sadness that all of us were going through, particularly those in the black community,” Goodell said. “I heard a lot from our players. Then a video came out Thursday night and I thought it was very powerful. I thought it was very clear, and I thought it was appropriate for me to respond directly to that, and make it clear on how we feel about the oppression of black people and condemning racism. We should have listened to our players earlier. Our players, including Colin Kaepernick, including Eric Reid, including Kenny Stills, and so many others (Malcolm Jenkins), they really brought these issues to light, and it actually goes back to 2014 in Ferguson.
“Our players have been at the forefront in bringing attention to these issues, and really working to try and make a difference in the communities. We have been doing that over the last couple of years and I’m proud of the work we’re doing, but we all have more work to do,” Goodall added.
The call for Kaepernick to resume his career came in the week following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hand of a white police officer in Minneapolis.