During an October meeting between NFL owners joined by current and former players to discuss social issues and players kneeling during the national anthem, players wondered why former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still unemployed.
The New York Times obtained an audio recording of the meeting at the NFL headquarters in New York. Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long said, “If he was on a roster right now, all this negativeness and divisiveness could be turned into a positive,”
Long added that he did not want to tell team what to do about their personnel decisions, but said “we all agree in this room as players that he should be on a roster.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell started the session by saying, “Let’s make sure that we keep this confidential.”
Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem during the 2016 season in an effort to raise awareness of the racial and societal injustices in America.
A former San Francisco 49ers teammate of Kaepernick, safety Eric Reid, said he felt Kaepernick “was hung out to dry,”
“Everyone in here is talking about how much they support us. Nobody stepped up and said we support Colin’s right to do this. We all let him become Public Enemy No. 1 in this country, and he still doesn’t have a job,” Reid said.
Reid was one of the players who knelt alongside Kaepernick during the national anthem as teammates on the 49ers. He has not been signed this offseason.