Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has gone three seasons without finding an NFL team willing to give him chance to a earn a roster spot.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week issued a statement to condemn racism in light of the protests around the country after George Floyd died in police custody when a Minneapolis policeman held him down with a knee to his neck.
Goodell admitted the league was wrong for not listening to NFL players and encouraged them to speak out and peacefully protest after Kaepernick began the movement in 2016. However, Goodell did not mention Kaepernick, who received an undisclosed settlement from the NFL last year.
“The NFL is a PR machine, and they know how to construe the messaging to get their point across and to appease and pacify the public without overstepping what they consider their moral high ground and stepping off that pedestal,” 49ers veteran cornerback Richard Sherman said on a video call with Bay Area reporters. “That’s the unfortunate part.”
Sherman said he belongs within the majority of those who have spoken out to express the opinion Kaepernick should not have been unable to find employment as a professional football player at only 29 years old.
“I can want him to have a job, and I can think he deserves a job as much as anybody and everybody’s said it who said anything, because he’s a good player and he showed he can play in this league,” Sherman said. “He can play at the highest level, so he deserves a job.
“In order to answer those questions, I had to be one of the decision-makers who didn’t give him a job. And I’m not that person. I think until those people are asked those difficult questions, we’ll never get the answers.”
Kaepernick spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the 49ers. He opted out of his contract with the 49ers following the 2016 season when new general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan informed him the organization would release him. He was scheduled to make $16.9 million in salary and bonuses in 2017.