NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence on the Colin Kaepernick situation Wednesday.
Goodell was asked by the Associated Press about Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the national anthem before games. While Goodell said he respects his players’ right to protest and attempt to enact social change, he added players must find a respectful way to do so.
“I support our players when they want to see change in society, and we don’t live in a perfect society,” Goodell said according to the AP’s Barry Wilner. “On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL. I personally believe very strongly in that.”
It appears Goodell understands Kaepernick’s protest, he just doesn’t agree with it. These are the first comments Goodell has made on the situation, which has caused an explosion of reactions on both ends of the spectrum.
The NFL often honors military personnel during games and annually donates $1,000 for every point scored during annual Salute to Service games to its non-profit partners to commemorate Veteran’s Day.
It’s evident Kaepernick also has plenty of supporters. His jersey is now the NFL’s best seller, and Seattle Seahawks defensive back Jeremy Lane has vocally backed Kaepernick’s cause and will also refuse to stand during the playing of the national anthem. Kaepernick announced he will donate all of the profits made from his jersey sales as a thank you to fans for supporting his cause.