NFL training camps are now open, and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who gained widespread national attention last season for his National Anthem protests — remains without a job. But while some players believe that the signal caller is being blackballed from the NFL, the league’s commissioner insists that’s not the case.
Speaking with reporters Sunday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked point blank if Kaepernick was being blackballed.
“He can’t be, because we’re not,” Goodell said. “The clubs are making those individual evaluations.
But then, Goodell did leave open the possibility that some teams may be taking Kaepernick’s anthem protests under consideration when deciding whether or not to sign him.
“Obviously, everyone’s aware of the fact of his protests last year,” Goodell said. “And that’s something individual clubs will either weigh or not weight. But I think they I all want to get better.”
In 11 games as a starter for the 49ers last season, Kaepernick led his team to a 1-10 record, but posted strong individual stats, throwing for 16 touchdowns against only four interceptions. The Baltimore Ravens have spoken with Kaepernick, and are reportedly thinking about extending him a contract offer.
Goodell says that the league will not pressure the Ravens or any other team to sign Kaepernick.
“Those are football decisions each team has to make, what they think are the right ways to make their football teams better,” Goodell said. “And those are decisions I don’t get involved with. They’re decisions that rightfully belong with those clubs.”
[featured image via screengrab]
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