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NFL responds to Joe Lockhart’s column on Colin Kaepernick

Tony Dungy shares his thoughts on the protests in Minneapolis over George Floyd's death and the voice athletes should have in social issues.

Former NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart has written a column in which he admits that a team should have signed Colin Kaepernick in 2017 and urging the Vikings to do so now. Current NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy has provided this statement to PFT in response to a request for comment.

“Colin is a free agent,” McCarthy said. “Clubs may sign him if they choose to do so.”

McCarthy also pointed to the fact that NFL senior V.P. of social responsibility Anna Isaacson provided an update this week to owners and on a subsequent conference call with reporters.

“Today we covered several updates on our Inspire Change social justice initiative,” Isaacson said. “Firstly, it’s important to know this work remains at the top of our priority list and has been a continued focus even throughout the offseason. Recent events across the country make it even clearer how much more work needs to be done. We recently announced we surpassed $44 million in funding along with a new set of national grants and grant renewals to non-profit organizations that really do the real work on the ground in our key focus areas of education, economic advancements, community and police relations and criminal justice reform. The $44 million also includes more than 750 matching grants on behalf of players and legends who have personally supported local, social justice organizations, for more than 360 distinct organizations that have served more than 600,000 people in just the last two years alone.”

The league’s efforts are admirable. Recent events nevertheless renew focus on the ongoing unemployment of Kaepernick, who used anthem protests to call attention to mistreatment of African-Americans and people of color by police. As the issue reaches what may be critical mass, the consequences to Kaepernick become more conspicuous.