NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated his stance that Colin Kaepernick isn’t being blackballed by the league, as the quarterback remains a free agent well into the summer.
Kaepernick is still unsigned after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers on March 3. While a litany of journeymen quarterbacks found new clubs, Kaepernick was passed over, with many believing his ongoing protest against racial inequality and police brutality is a leading factor.
Goodell, however, disputed the notion that teams are actively trying to keep Kaepernick out of the NFL.
“They’re going to do whatever it takes to make their football team better. So, those are football decisions,” Goodell told NFL Network’s Andrea Kremer on Thursday, per ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. “They’re made all the time. I believe that if a football team feels that Colin Kaepernick, or any other player, is going to improve that team, they’re going to do it.”
Goodell said he has no preference if Kaepernick signs or not, deferring to each team’s ability to make its own decisions.
“I don’t get involved in personnel decisions with the clubs,” he said during a dinner in front of hundreds of fans. “Those are decisions that the 32 clubs are going to have to make individually. They’re going to give whatever player they think can help them win that opportunity. And I think that’s what’s great about the NFL is that we’re a meritocracy, and you earn your opportunities and you get to keep your opportunities on the way you perform, ultimately. That’s what the NFL is about. I think that’s why fans love the game. People go out and they earn those opportunities, and it’s a competitive league, which is great for us.”
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