Former 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the National Anthem in the final preseason game of the 2016 season. He did this to protest racial injustice and police brutality against African-Americans.
Prior to that, he had just been sitting down. Taking a knee was his way of respecting America while calling out for change.
Kaepernick received a lot more backlash than support, which is rumored to be the reason he was never signed again after opting out of a contract with the 49ers.
Kaepernick Deserves a Spot in the League
During a local media conference, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan addressed the current situation happening in America and mentioned that Kaepernick should have “every opportunity to join the league.”
I think in part of the comment that was made by the league the other day, I think they referenced that they have made mistakes in terms of how they handled peaceful protests and players voicing their opinions, Ryan said. I think they have recognized that they made mistakes there. And as far as Colin being back in the league, I think he should have every opportunity to.
He created awareness for a situation that, it’s taken some time, but people are becoming more active in terms of their response to it. So I think from that standpoint, his protest is being heard at this point. It might have taken too long but I think he should have every opportunity to have a job and to have a spot in this league.
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Rodger Goodell Apologizes
Rodger Goodell posted a video on Twitter last week apologizing to players for not listening when they spoke out:
“It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country,” Goodell said. “First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the families who have endured police brutality. 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. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country.”
Goodell also said that “Without black players, there would be no National Football League” and moving forward, the NFL will take steps in the right direction by reaching out and listening to each player’s voice.
While some accepted Goodell’s apology, but many were turned off by it calling it “too late” and “not genuine enough” since he didn’t mention Colin Kaepernick’s name.
Kaepernick’s Girlfriend Calls Out Goodell
Shortly after Goodell’s statement, Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa Diab, released a statement of her own.
Kaepernick hasn’t seen the playing field since 2016 and now everyone has his back. But, is it too late?