Three years ago, President Donald Trump used an expletive to describe NFL players participating in on-field protests against police brutality. Now, Trump said on Wednesday he would be supportive of Colin Kaepernick rejoining the NFL.
Trump told WJLA-TV on Wednesday that “absolutely, he would” be supportive of Kapernick getting another shot in the NFL, assuming he can play well enough to earn a roster spot.
“If he deserves it, he should,” Trump said. “If he has the playing ability. He started off great, and then he didn’t end up very great in terms of a player. He was terrific in his rookie year. I think he was very good in his second year. And then something happened. So his playing wasn’t up to snuff.
“The answer is absolutely I would. As far as kneeling, I would love to see him get another shot. But obviously he has to be able to play well.”
Trump has been harshly critical of players kneeling during the national anthem. He once said that the NFL should “Get that son of a b---- off the field right now” about players who kneel
"It is about time that (NFL Commissioner) Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY," Trump said in a 2017 tweet.
Kaepernick was among the first players to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 in hopes of bringing attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite Kaepernick not getting re-signed in 2017, up to 200 NFL players participated in kneeling during the national anthem in 2017.
Kaepernick later accused the league of collusion, and earned a settlement with the NFL for not getting signed.
As tensions have grown in recent weeks since the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed regret for being critical of the movement.
"We the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people," Goodell said.
— Scott Thuman (@ScottThuman) June 17, 2020