Al Sharpton wants more than an apology from the NFL.
At George Floyd’s funeral service in Houston on Tuesday, Sharpton challenged the league to back its words up and find a spot for Colin Kaepernick.
“The head of the NFL (Roger Goodell) said, ‘Yeah, maybe we was wrong. Football players, maybe they did have the right to peacefully protest,’” Sharpton said. “Well, don’t apologize. Give Colin Kaepernick a job back. Don’t come with some empty apology. Take a man’s livelihood. Strip a man down of his talents. And four years later, when the whole world is marching, all of a sudden you go and do a FaceTime, talk about you sorry. Minimizing the value of our lives. You sorry? Then repay the damage you did to the career you stood down, ’cause when Colin took a knee, he took it for for the families in this building. And we don’t want an apology. We want him repaired.”
The first player to begin kneeling to protest police brutality, Kaepernick hasn’t played since the 2016 season, despite leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl in February of 2014. Believing he was blackballed from the NFL because of his protests, Kaepernick sued the league owners for collusion and the two sides settled out of court last year.
In a video released Friday night, commissioner Roger Goodell admitted the league was wrong in not listening to its players sooner and endorsed peaceful protests.
“It has been a difficult time for our country, in particular, black people in our country,” Goodell said. “First my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the families who have endured police brutality. We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.
“I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country,” Goodell continued. “Without black players there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff. We are listening. I am listening. And I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”
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