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Al Sharpton to Roger Goodell: Don’t apologize, give Colin Kaepernick a job

Mike Florio wonders if the NFL's relationship with Colin Kaepernick will begin to thaw after a weekend that saw Roger Goodell post a video about standing up to racism and admitting fault in not listening to the players.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, who spoke last week at George Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis, delivered the eulogy on Tuesday at Floyd’s funeral in Houston.

Sharpton’s remarks included a reference to the NFL’s recent apology to its players for not listening in the past to concerns about racial injustice -- an apology that never mentioned the man who was trying to get the nation’s attention four years ago as to the problem of police brutality against minorities.

“The head of the NFL said, ‘Yeah, maybe we was wrong. Football players, maybe they did have the right to peacefully protest,’” Sharpton said. “Well, don’t apologize. Give Colin Kaepernick a job back. Don’t come with some empty apology. Take a man’s livelihood. Strip a man down of his talents. And four years later, when the whole world is marching, all of a sudden you go and do a FaceTime, talk about you sorry. Minimizing the value of our lives. You sorry? Then repay the damage you did to the career you stood down, ‘cause when Colin took a knee, he took it for for the families in this building. And we don’t want an apology. We want him repaired.”

Sharpton’s comments come at a time when the topic of Kaepernick getting a job with an NFL team is intensifying, not subsiding. The topic made its way into Monday’s late-night talk shows, with NBC’s Jimmy Fallon saying (via Sports Business Daily), “The NFL feels so badly that they’re this close to scheduling another fake workout for Colin Kaepernick. Here’s a fun fact, I just said Colin Kaepernick’s name one more time than Roger Goodell did.” Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah added (also via Sports Business Daily), “Every other industry, they have to prove their commitment by hiring thousands of new black people. The NFL has just got to hire one.”

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that nothing has happened regarding a potential return of Kaepernick to the NFL. No teams have inquired about his services or expressed interest in seeing what he can do or otherwise showing any inclination to change a three-plus-year status quo.

Will that change? It’s hard to imagine that change will truly come until Kaepernick gets a fair opportunity to return to the NFL. The question is which owner, G.M., and coach will have the courage to give Kaepernick consideration based on nothing but his football abilities.