NFL commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t exactly a dynamic public speaker; he’s robotic and bland, and in general will say a lot of words that don’t really say much.
So it was on Thursday.
Since it’s the first day of the regular season, Goodell appeared on FS1 and of course he was asked about Colin Kaepernick.
Predictably, Goodell said Kaepernick isn’t being blackballed, he just might not be the right fit for every team.
“I want to see everyone get an opportunity, including Colin, but those decisions are made by football people,” Goodell said. “When teams have a need and teams feel like they can get better by a particular individual, whether they know the system, or whether they have more talent, or whatever it may be, that’s what they do. And I’m still convinced that he’ll get that opportunity when the right opportunity comes along. That’s what our league’s all about.”
In truth, we’ve sort of given up on the idea that Kaepernick will play again in the NFL. Of the 30-plus quarterbacks who have been signed in the last several months, there are several who are undoubtedly not better than Kaepernick.
But don’t ask Goodell to evaluate that part. Asked if he thinks Kaepernick is good enough to play in the NFL this season, he punted.
“I’m not a football expert,” Goodell said. “I’m a huge fan. I have a role as commissioner also, but for me I watch the games and enjoy and I let the football people make those decisions. And the reality is there’s 32 different decisions, and multiple decisions within an organization, so there’s always a dispute. The idea of who can play, who can’t play, who’s best for our system and not best for our system, are decisions that should be made by those 32 teams.”
Now, no one expects Goodell to have Belichickian-level football expertise because that’s not his job. But someone who watches as many games as Goodell likely has over his decades working for the league has to know that Kaepernick is better than, say, Chad Henne.
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