The Rev. Al Sharpton took aim at President Trump while speaking at George Floyd’s funeral service in Houston on Tuesday, but he also had some choice words for the National Football League.
Noting that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted the league was wrong for not taking its protesting players seriously enough in 2016, the minister and civil rights activist said, “Don’t apologize. Give Colin Kaepernick a job back.”
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) June 9, 2020
Rev. Al Sharpton addressing Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL:
“Well don’t apologize — give Colin Kaepernick a job back.” pic.twitter.com/D0s3537Xes
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 9, 2020
Kaepernick sparked a movement around the league that year to kneel during the national anthem before games to protest police brutality against blacks. After that season, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers when they told him he was going to be cut, and has not been signed by another team ever since.
Kaepernick and his friend and former teammate Eric Reid filed grievances against the NFL alleging collusion to keep them out of the league for their kneeling. The NFL settled with them for a figure reportedly less than $10 million.
Last week, amid the unrest around the country following the death of Floyd under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis, a group of black NFL stars made a video supporting “Black Lives Matter” in which they said, “On behalf of the National Football League, this is what we, the players, would like to hear you state: ‘We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.’”
Goodell responded with a video in which he repeated those key phrases. Some applauded the league for even going that far, while others found it disingenuous because he didn’t mention Kaepernick by name.