Commissioner Roger Goodell would like to see Colin Kaepernick back in the NFL.
That was Goodell’s message Monday while speaking with Mike Greenberg on ESPN’s “The Return of Sports” show, which featured interviews with multiple sports league commissioners.
Kaepernick last played in the NFL in 2016, the year in which he took a knee during the national anthem as a protest against racism and police brutality.
“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 told ESPN. “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. 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.”
Last week, at the prompting of a group of prominent black NFL players, Goodell said the NFL admits it was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
He added the NFL’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement and called for changes to wipe out systematic racism, but he received criticism for failing to mention Kaepernick specifically.