Colin Kaepernick is owed an apology by the NFL, according to Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins. Jenkins talked about the need for an apology during a Tuesday appearance on CBS This Morning, adding it was the only way the NFL can “get it right,” according to ESPN’s Tim McManus.
“I still don’t think [the NFL has] gotten it right. Until they apologize, specifically, to Colin Kaepernick, or assign him to a team, I don’t think that they will end up on the right side of history,” Jenkins said during his appearance.
He added the league has done some things it should be lauded for “at the end of the day.” The NFL donated money and listened to players. They also created a platform known as “Inspire Change.” Jenkins said the league has done quite a bit, but there’s still one player it has ignored through all of it and that’s Kaepernick.
Last week, Roger Goodell released a video apologizing for trying to silence the players. The league’s commissioner promised it would take more positive action moving forward. Jenkins was upbeat that Goodell was being honest in his recorded comments but noticed the apology was a blanket statement to all players. The defensive back noticed Kaepernick wasn’t mentioned by name.
“That’s the only thing people want to hear,” Jenkins said of the NFL’s silence on Kaepernick. “If it’s not going to correct that or acknowledge that, then everything else doesn’t need to be said.”
Jenkins is just the latest player to say the league needs to both offer an apology to Kaepernick and give him a real chance to get back into the NFL. On an earlier conference call with the media, McManus reported Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan made similar comments.
Ryan said the former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback should be afforded “every opportunity” to play again. He added it appears Kaepernick’s protests are being seen and heard more than they were, even when he was doing them live and on camera.
“He created awareness for a situation that, it’s taking some time, but people are becoming more active in terms of their response to it,” Ryan reportedly told the media. “So I think from that standpoint, his protest is being heard at this point. It might have taken too long, but I think he should have every opportunity to have a job and to have a spot in this league.”
Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem in 2016. While he said he did so as a way to shed light on social injustices, including police brutality, critics alleged he was disrespecting the American flag. He hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season. In 2019, he settled a collusion lawsuit against the NFL.