NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's opinion of controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick has apparently changed dramatically in the wake of those recent nationwide protests for racial justice. From saying the league had "moved on" from Kaepernick to encouraging teams to hire the former 49ers quarterback—and indicating he thinks people should listen to Kap's counsel on social justice issues.
This comes after Goodell tweeted a video via the NFL's Twitter account on June 5th, emphasizing the league's stance against "racism and the systematic oppression of Black People."
In a guest spot on ESPN's The Return of Sports, Goodell indicated he'd support Kaepernick's return to the field and would appreciate the activist QB's guidance regarding the very social issues that got Kap blackballed from the NFL after he began his silent protests in 2016.
Goodell said, "Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s gonna take a team to make that decision."
"But I welcome that," He continued, "...support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that."
More from ESPN:
"If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome him to that table and to help us, guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in the communities. We have invited him in before, and we want to make sure that everybody’s welcome at that table, and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues, that have been around for a long time.
“But I hope we’re at a point now where everybody’s committed to making long-term, sustainable change."
This is a striking change in tone. It's not an apology, but it seems like that's about as close as Goodell might get to saying he's sorry about the whole thing. It will be easier to believe Goodell and the NFL, in general, have truly begun to turn things around when we learn of Kaepernick doing an actual workout with an interested team.