The NFL issued a statement on Tuesday, appearing to support Colin Kaepernick and declaring that the “social justice issues” he’s raised “deserve our respect and attention.”
News of Nike’s decision to make Kaepernick the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” ad campaign, touched off a firestorm of controversy. It was Kaepernick who began the NFL anthem protest movement in the preseason 2016:
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
That tweet brought forth a torrent of reaction — positive and negative — on social media. However, the NFL, where Kaepernick hasn’t played since the end of the 2016 season, had remained silent on the issue.
That changed on Tuesday afternoon.
The NFL issued a statement which was shared by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport:
The NFL has released a statement on social justice, saying the issues that Colin Kaepernick and others have raised deserve attention and action. pic.twitter.com/QfmEUkXdjT
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 4, 2018
Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against the NFL earlier this year alleging that the league’s owners had conspired under pressure from President Trump, to keep him out of the league. The former 49er’s legal team won their summary judgment case against the league last week, meaning that the case can now proceed to the trial phase.
The NFL changed their anthem policy in May, requiring all players on the field to stand and show respect during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. However, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the league, accusing the NFL of not including them in the decision making process. The NFL then suspended the enforcement provisions of the new rule, until the two sides could come to a compromise on a new rule.
Yet, with the regular season set to begin in just two days, no such compromise has been reached.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn