LOS ANGELES (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell disagrees with Colin Kaepernick’s choice to kneel during the national anthem, but recognizes the quarterback’s right to protest.

Asked by The Associated Press about Kaepernick’s decision not to stand before games when the national anthem is played, Goodell said Wednesday: “I don’t necessarily agree with what he is doing.”

“I support our players when they want to see change in society, and we don’t live in a perfect society,” Goodell added. “On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL. I personally believe very strongly in that.”

Goodell added that NFL players having a visible platform for their viewpoints. With that comes responsibility to use those platforms properly.

“We have to choose respectful ways of doing that so that we can achieve the outcomes we ultimately want and do it with the values and ideals that make our country great,” said Goodell, whose late father, Charles, was a U.S. senator.

“I think it’s important to have respect for our country, for our flag, for the people who make our country better; for law enforcement; and for our military who are out fighting for our freedoms and our ideals.”

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback wouldn’t stand for the anthem at the team’s preseason games, with teammate Eric Reid and Seattle’s Jeremy Lane doing the same. Kaepernick has cited racial injustice and police brutality among the many reasons for his actions and said he plans to continue to not stand for the anthem during the regular season.

The 49ers open their season at home against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


  1. Tom says:

    His kneeling is an absolute disgrace to everyone who has died or fought for all of our freedoms. If he doesn’t want to live in our society he can always leave and see how well he is welcomed elsewhere. Professional athletes are being paid ridiculously high salaries and need to be positive role models. This disgrace is not a positive role model and is a selfish act to bring himself back in the spotlight. Everyone knows Kaepernick is a choke artist and on his way out of the NFL. Goodell should honestly allow the Dallas Cowboys to wear their stickers in support of Dallas PD, which, was by far more of a positive role model and patrioic move. It is also sad the NFL would allow such acts but then again they have become such a laughing joke in the last few years.

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