The more time that passes with no news of Colin Kaepernick joining a new team since his departure from the 49ners in March, the more fans believe the NFL is blacklisting the athlete for his political beliefs. In an attempt to dispel the rumors, the league's commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the claims on Thursday (Aug. 3).
"No, teams make decisions (based) on what's in the best interest of their team and they make those decisions individually," Goodell said from the Denver Broncos' indoor practice facility. ABC News reports Kaepernick parted ways with the 49ners in March with no offers from other teams until recently. Reports indicate the Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens have shared interest in the 29-year-old. The player took a stand against police brutality of people of color by refusing to to chant the national anthem. Those against Kaepernick's views have boycotted the NFL and thrown racist insults at the athlete online.
When asked about Kaepernick's talent over his activism, Goodell played it safe. "There are other people who make those evaluations and that's a decision that those teams all make individually," Goodell said. "It's not one that I would make as a commissioner."
Goodell also slammed claims that Kaepernick's political stance played a part in declining ratings. Explaining that viewership has changed due to steaming and other practices, he also asked players to be responsible in their communities.
"I think they are leaders in their communities, I think they have a voice and they should express it. And I think it's important for them to do it responsibly," he said.
Kaepernick has found support from his football brethren like Richard Sherman. The Seahawks cornerback expressed his disappointment in Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti's comments on Kaepernick's political beliefs. Deadspin reports Steve Bisciotti told fans Sunday (Jul. 30) he was concerned if he signed Kaepernick, his political stance would bring problems to the team.
“For you to say you have to check with sponsors and fans because this guy took a knee and made a statement?” Sherman said. “Now if you told me this guy threw eight pick-sixes last year and played like a bum, had no talent, that’s one thing. But Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett or whoever is playing for the Jets right now – whoever is starting for the Jets is terrible – have jobs. You’re telling me fans would rather you lose and put a worse player out there because a guy took a stand? That’s where it’s so troublesome to me.”
Activist Kevin Powell also shared similar thoughts on Kaepernick's legacy.
Nonetheless, fans are still hoping to see the player on the field this fall.