Watch LIVE

NFL Commissioner Weighs in on Kaepernick Controversy

News
Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers walks off the field after losing against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Credit: Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell disagrees with Colin Kaepernick's choice to kneel during the national anthem, but recognizes the quarterback's right to protest.

Asked by The Associated Press about Kaepernick's decision not to stand before games when the national anthem is played, Goodell said Wednesday: "I don't necessarily agree with what he is doing."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference in Orlando, Fla. Goodell says the league asked for, but was not given, a just-released video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee on an elevator. Goodell says during an interview with CBS aired Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014: "We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. But we were never granted that opportunity." (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference in Orlando, Fla. Goodell says the league asked for, but was not given, a just-released video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee on an elevator. Goodell says during an interview with CBS aired Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014: "We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. But we were never granted that opportunity." (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

"I support our players when they want to see change in society, and we don't live in a perfect society," Goodell added. "On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL. I personally believe very strongly in that."

Goodell added that NFL players having a visible platform for their viewpoints. With that comes responsibility to use those platforms properly.

"We have to choose respectful ways of doing that so that we can achieve the outcomes we ultimately want and do it with the values and ideals that make our country great," said Goodell, whose late father, Charles, was a U.S. senator.

"I think it's important to have respect for our country, for our flag, for the people who make our country better; for law enforcement; and for our military who are out fighting for our freedoms and our ideals."

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback wouldn't stand for the anthem at the team's preseason games, with teammate Eric Reid and Seattle's Jeremy Lane doing the same. Kaepernick has cited racial injustice and police brutality among the many reasons for his actions and said he plans to continue to not stand for the anthem during the regular season.

The 49ers open their season at home against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night.

Most recent
All Articles