LeBron James Says The NFL Needs To Apologize To Colin Kaepernick

Melissa Rohlin

LeBron James wants NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to apologize to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was exiled from the league three years ago for kneeling during the national anthem in protest against racism and police brutality. 

Earlier this month, Goodell acknowledged that the league was wrong for not listening to peaceful protests, adding that he supports "all to speak out and peacefully protest." He then told ESPN that he encourages teams to sign Kaepernick.

But James thinks he needs to do more. 

“As far as the NFL, I’m not in those locker rooms, I’m not with those guys, but I do understand that an apology — I have not heard a true, official apology to Colin Kaepernick on what he was going through and what he was trying to tell the NFL and tell the world about why he was kneeling when he was doing that as a San Francisco 49er," James said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. "I just see that to still be wrong. Now they are listening some, but I still think we have not heard that official apology to a man who basically sacrificed everything for the better of this world."

The NFL changed its tune on peaceful protests amid nationwide outrage following the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man, by white police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25 in Minneapolis. 

After Floyd's death, James tweeted a photo of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds next to an image of Kaepernick peacefully kneeling in protest. 

"Do you understand NOW!!??!!??" James wrote. "Or is it still blurred to you?? 🤦🏾‍♂️ #StayWoke👁"

James went on to praise the NBA for encouraging players to speak out against racial injustices. 

“One thing I can speak for is what I’m apart of,” James said. “I’m a part of a league with a great commissioner in Adam Silver and he’s always listened to the voices of his players and I’ve always respected him for that. He’s given us an opportunity that when we feel something that’s very wrong with society, that’s very wrong with what’s going on in our communities, that we can speak upon that and use the NBA’s shield to back us and I have nothing but respect for Adam Silver.”