49ers

Former 49ers WR: Colin Kaepernick 'deserves' to play in NFL again

Former 49ers WR: Colin Kaepernick 'deserves' to play in NFL again

After taking over for Blaine Gabbert midway through last season, Colin Kaepernick found a favorite target in wide receiver Jeremy Kerley.

Kaepernick took aim at Kerley 68 times and connected 37 times for 345 yards and one touchdown.

A year later, neither is with the 49ers. Kaepernick remains unsigned while Kerley signed with the Jets after being released by San Francisco.

Recently, Kerley spoke to the New York Daily News about whether Kaepernick is being blackballed by the league.

"If I was Colin Kaepernick, if I was in his shoes, I would probably feel like I was being blackballed. But I'm not him. I'm not in his shoes. So, I just think it sucks. It sucks for him, because he's good enough to be on a football team. He can definitely help someone's team being a backup or potentially being a starter. So, I am shocked, definitely," Kerley said.

Kerley addressed the fact that Kaepernick remains unsigned.

"It's a helpless feeling. It's an unfortunate feeling. You almost feel like you're worthless. You know what I mean? At the same time, Colin has a strong mindset. That's one thing I respect about him. He has a strong mindset. I'm pretty sure that he knows that he can play in this league. He knows what he can do. At the end of the day, some stuff is just out of your control. He can't control being on a team right now. It's not like you can just force your way in and be on a team," Kerley said.

"It's unfortunate. I don't necessarily say it's sad. I don't necessarily say it's bad for this person or that person. It's just unfortunate, because I know the dude wants to play football," Kerley added.

Kerley also took to task the theory that Kaepernick remains unsigned because he would be a distraction in whichever locker room he entered.

"Believe it or not, it was no distraction. He caused no distraction. No distraction at all. … Every time he talked to the media, it was almost like he made sure that he kind of did it off to the side. He didn't bring any attention to himself or to the team. I respected him a lot," Kerley said.

When asked if his former teammate will be picked up by an NFL team at some point, Kerley is holding out hope.

"I feel like he deserves it. But it's just crazy how that goes," Kerley said.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

goodell-us.jpg
USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

trump-ap.jpg
AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”