NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he supports Colin Kaepernick for sitting during the national anthem, yet at the same time might punish players who honor 9/11.
Goodell sat down and talked with NBC’s Matt Lauer to discuss San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to disrespect America and sit during the national anthem.
Watch the video below:
“In a league that I think the majority of the players are African American, do you want the league to take a leading role in bringing attention to issues like the one that Colin Kaepernick is bringing attention to?” Lauer began, highlighting charged undertones of the players’ actions.
“Well, I think our history is that we do,” Goodell responded. “We play a role in society, an important role in society. We understand that.”
Lauer then asked Goodell if he felt “proud” of Colin Kaepernick and his protest, to which Goodell answered: “Listen, I support our players speaking out on issues that they think need to be changed in our society. We don’t live in a perfect society, Matt. Our players have strong views about things. So I support our players speaking out against that. But that’s what the focus should be on, the changes he wants to see in our society.”
Additionally, Lauer made a point of asking about whether it’d be particularly “difficult to see the players kneel or sit for the anthem” on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when many Americans will be feeling exceptionally patriotic.
“I don’t think so,” Goodell answered. “You know, we encourage our players to be respectful. We want them to do this so. But they also have rights. And we have to respect that.”