President Trump took some credit for Colin Kaepernick’s continued unemployment this week, saying that NFL owners may not want to sign Kaepernick because they don’t want the president to tweet criticism of a team for signing a player who declined to stand for the national anthem. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says Trump is entitled to that point of view.
Asked about Trump’s comment on Mike & Mike, Goodell said, “That’s a comment that he’s going to make and that’s fine.”
Goodell indicated, however, that he thinks teams are evaluating Kaepernick’s on-field abilities.
“Our teams are out there working hard to figure out how they can improve each of their clubs. They’re making the best decisions they can. And they’re going to do what they can to improve their teams and win. That’s what they want to do for the fans. So that’s what they’re focused on and that’s what we’re focused on. Everyone’s going to make other comments, and obviously we’re respectful of those comments, particularly from the president.”
Ultimately, Goodell said, teams build around players they think will help them win.
“I can’t speculate on that,” Goodell said. “The 32 owners, I think their major focus is on winning and whatever it takes to win and they think reflects well on their team, that’s what they’re gonna do. And so I think from their standpoint, they want to win, and they’re putting teams together and trying to find the players and coaches and everyone else who can help create that kind of chemistry that’s going to lead to a winning team.”
It remains to be seen how long Kaepernick will have to wait to find a team that thinks he can help it win.