Devin McCourty believes it’s time for the NFL needs to give Colin Kaepernick a real chance.
Kaepernick has resurfaced in the national spotlight in wake of recent events. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, of course, hasn’t played in the league since the 2016 season, during which he elected to peacefully protest in the form of kneeling during the national anthem.
The NFL since has effectively danced around the topic of Kaepernick, which McCourty believes needs to end. The New England Patriots safety thinks the league should give Kaepernick a real opportunity to play and allow him to use the NFL’s platform as he strives to make societal change.
“I think, first and foremost, they need to have a sit-down,” McCourty said Wednesday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “They need to bring him in there. They need to tell him, face-to-face, everything that they’ve said vocally, everything they’ve said publicly. Tell that to him directly. Then, I think — just moving forward — giving him a real opportunity to be in this league. You know, last year I was one of the guys when he had that workout that I thought it was bogus. I didn’t think it was a real opportunity for him. But I think he needs to be heard now even more than back in 2016. You know, we all kind of cut him off and didn’t really embrace him the way we should have. I think now it’s time to bring him into the fold. If the NFL really wants to be involved in this, they need to make sure they elevate his platform and let him speak and let him do the work he’s been doing.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday gave his most direct statement on Kaepernick yet, claiming the league would welcome the 32-year-old’s return and encouraging teams to sign him. As far as which teams make even some sense as a potential landing spot for Kaepernick, McCourty’s Patriots have been suggested, though it’s tough to imagine the QB actually landing in New England.