While Roger Goodell didn't mention Colin Kaepernick by name on June 5, the NFL commissioner did admit he was wrong about the movement the former 49ers quarterback started in 2016.
Ten days later, Goodell addressed Kaepernick by name.
In an interview with ESPN's Mike Greenberg on Monday, Goodell said he's pushing for an NFL team to sign Kaepernick, who hasn't played in a game since Jan. 1, 2017.
"Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it's gonna take a team to make that decision," Goodell said during ESPN's "The Return to Sports" show. "But I welcome that, support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that."
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During the 2016 season, Kaepernick first took a seat, then knelt, during the national anthem to bring attention to racial and social injustices, and police brutality.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract after the 49ers told him they planned to release him. He's been a free agent ever since.
No team was willing to sign Kaepernick, and as former NFL executive Joe Lockhart wrote on CNN.com, one team official was concerned inking Kaepernick might cost them 20 percent of their season-ticket holders.
Kaepernick arguably is more talented than a lot of backup quarterbacks in the NFL right now. But his time away from the playing field could make teams hesitant to sign him. If that's the case, Goodell still believes there's a place for Kaepernick, if he wants it.
"If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome him to that table and to help us, guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in the communities," Goodell said. "We have invited him in before, and we want to make sure that everybody's welcome at that table, and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues, that have been around for a long time.
"But I hope we're at a point now where everybody's committed to making long-term, sustainable change."
NFL owners were committed to staying away from Kaepernick over the last three years, but will a push from Goodell cause one team to change its mind? We'll find out soon.
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