The 2017 NFL season has been full of quarterbacks going down and backups getting promoted to starting jobs out of necessity. The latest example of this came on Sunday afternoon, when Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz went down with an injury that turned out to be a torn ACL and backup Nick Foles became the team’s starter.
As starters getting injured has seemed to turn into a weekly occurrence, plenty have wondered why former Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick hasn’t gotten a job somewhere. Some, like LeBron James, believe that the league has blackballed Kaepernick, who famously sat for the national anthem last season in an attempt to start a national discussion on racial inequality and police brutality.
To NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, nothing sinister is going on. All that Kaepernick’s continued unemployment means is that teams don’t think he fills a need. The commissioner, fresh off of getting a new deal from the league’s owners, told CNBC’s Squawk Box that he disagrees with the notion that Kaepernick is getting blackballed.
“Each and every club’s got to make those decisions,” Goodell said when asked about Kaepernick not getting any opportunities to play. “They make those decisions based on a lot of factors that are best for their football team. And when they do that, that’s what’s in the best interest.”
When asked about James’ comments on Kaepernick, Goodell said “I don’t agree with that. Again, I think our teams are making the best decisions for what they need as a football team.”
Now of course, Goodell isn’t going to come out and say that claims of blackballing Kaepernick are accurate, as Kaepernick is bringing a grievance against the league that includes claims of collusion. He did, however, claim that the league has always extended the invitation to Kaepernick to come and speak, and that he’s “welcome to come over and meet any time.”