With Super Bowl LIII days away (Feb. 3), conversations surrounding Colin Kaepernick‘s non-presence in the league have gained traction. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently discussed the former San Francisco 49ers’ absence since taking a knee on the field to protest police brutality and racial injustice nearly three years ago.
During a Wednesday press conference (Jan. 30), Goodell said it’s up to any NFL team to make a decision on whether or not they want Kaepernick on its roster, depending on how effective the 31-year-old pro athlete or other NFL hopefuls can aid in winning.
“I’ve said it many times privately, publicly that our clubs are the ones that make decisions on players that they want to have on their roster,” Goodell said. “I think if a team decides that Colin Kaepernick or any other player can help their team win, that’s what they’ll do. They want to win, and they make those decisions individually in the best interest of their club.”
Roger Goodell dances around Colin Kaepernick question when asked if NFL will look bad in history books because of how they handled the Kaep situation pic.twitter.com/0QPoSm1Aby
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 30, 2019
The statement gained a retort from Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, who’s representing the activist in a collusion case against the league. On the Today show, the attorney said, “Why didn’t anybody ever bring him in and see where his skills were at? I think the whole thing is basically a ruse.”
“I think the commissioner was roasted appropriately on social media… The whole thing is basically a ruse. The collusion actually was the NFL kowtowing to the President.” Mark Geragos, Colin Kaepernick’s attorney, on Roger Goodell’s recent comments about Kaepernick pic.twitter.com/91zD2KNM5z
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 31, 2019
In a 2016 interview with ESPN, Kaepernick discussed his reasoning behind the protest. “People don’t realize what’s really going on in this country,” he said. “There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust. People aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for freedom, liberty, and justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.”