Commissioner Roger Goodell: I 'encourage' an NFL team to sign Colin Kaepernick

James Rapien

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he encourages one of the leagues 32 teams to sign former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. 

The 32-year-old hasn't played since the 2016 season. Kaepernick chose to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial and social injustice in America. 

In an appearance on ESPN's "The Return of Sports," Goodell said he would welcome Kaepernick if a team decided to sign him. 

"If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it's gonna take a team to make that decision," Goodell said. "But I welcome that, support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that.

"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."

Kaepernick made 58 regular season starts for the 49ers from 2012-2016. He posted a 28-30 record and helped the 49ers reach Super Bowl XLVII. San Francisco picked him in the second-round (36th overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Kaepernick made 11 starts in 2016 — the last time he was in the league. He threw 16 touchdowns and four interceptions and completed 59.2 percent of his passes. 

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