The NFL commissioner now says he’s encouraging teams to sign former 49er Colin Kaepernick. He’s been out of the league for three years, and public opinion is also changing about the kneeling protests he started.
It has become the ultimate silent protest around the nation -- taking a knee for Black Lives Matter and against police brutality.
It all started in 2016 by then 49ers quarterback Kaepernick and in the last month has re-energized the call for him to finally be signed to play for an NFL team.
This week, the NFL commissioner made his most supportive statement yet.
“If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, that obviously is going to take a team to make that decision, but I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said.
A recent survey also shows the majority, 52% of people, believe it’s OK for players to kneel during the national anthem.
Shaun Fletcher has worked in the NFL and sits on the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change (ISSSSC) at San Jose State.
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“When it comes down to society now viewing what Colin Kaepernick did in 2016, society is just now starting to see particularly what the Black community has seen our entire lifetimes, and what we’ve heard from previous generations,” Fletcher said.
He thinks Kaepernick will be signed and be in an NFL training camp, but adds it'll be interesting to see what the team owners do.
“Especially now that we’re talking about being on the right and wrong side of history now, not the right and wrong side of revenue,” said Fletcher.
San Jose State assistant coach Alonzo Carter believes we will see widespread kneeling on college and high school football fields as well and wants players to stay informed on this growing movement.
“There’s a lot of systemic racism that’s been going on for years, so if you kneel let’s make sure we educate ourselves and know why we’re kneeling,” Carter said.