NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted and apologized Friday that the league was wrong for "not listening to NFL players earlier" regarding taking a knee during the national anthem as a peaceful protest against racial and social injustices, including police brutality. One name was missing, though: Colin Kaepernick.
If the NFL is serious about racial and social injustices, one of Kaepernick's former 49ers teammates believes there's a simple solution.
“What can the NFL do? I think the NFL can start by signing Kap back," Seattle Seahawks running back Carlos Hyde said to reporters Monday, via ProFootballTalk. "I think if they sign Kap back that will show that they’re really trying to move in a different direction because Kap was making a statement four years ago about what’s going on in today’s world and the NFL didn’t bother to listen to him then.
"So I think they should start by doing that."
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Hyde played three seasons with Kaepernick in San Francisco, from 2014 through 2016. Kaepernick was the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem, doing so prior to a 2016 49ers preseason game. The quarterback hasn't played in the NFL since that season.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract ahead of the 2017 season, but 49ers general manager John Lynch admitted in May 2017 the team told the QB they would have released him if he didn't opt out of his contract.
Perhaps there's a road for Hyde and Kaepernick to reunite. Seahawks Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon believes Kaepernick fits Seattle's offense, and coach Pete Carroll recently lauded Kap's protest, despite reportedly postponing a workout over two years ago because Kaepernick wouldn't commit to no longer kneeling during the anthem.
Kaepernick last played in an NFL game on Jan. 1, 2017. He completed 17 of his 22 pass attempts for 215 yards and one touchdown in a two-point loss to the NFC West-champion Seahawks.