Kaepernick did 'right thing' by kneeling during anthem, can be on our roster, says Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
Wilson made the statement during a video conference call with reporters in wake of George Floyd protests against police brutality and systematic racism in the US
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has defended former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his protest movement, saying he was trying to do the "right thing" when he took a knee during the national anthem. Wilson made the statement during a video conference call last week with reporters in wake of George Floyd protests against police brutality and systematic racism in US. Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed last month in police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes.
"We all need to help. We all need to find our own ways of how we're going to love and how we're going to make a difference, and everybody may do it differently,” Wilson said on Wednesday, June 3, the Seattle Times reported. “I don't know what everybody's going to do and how they're going to do it, but it's calling for people to understand what's really going on."
"It's heavy on me because I think the reality is, with Colin in particular, is he was trying to symbolize the right thing," the quarterback continued. "People may have taken that the wrong way. But I think he was trying to do the right thing. The bottom line.”
Wilson also appreciated Kaepernick's skills as a player and said that he believes the free agent is a "talented football player" and he would leave it up to team coach Pete Carroll when it comes to who can be on the team. "I think ultimately he could be on our roster for sure. He could do a lot of great things. He’s a really talented player, for sure,” Wilson said.
The NFL, earlier this month, was slammed by social media users for releasing a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as many had pointed out the treatment the league had meted out to Kaepernick. NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, since then, has issued an apology stating that the league was wrong to oppose Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protest and would allow NFL players to peacefully protest.
Kaepernick hasn’t played a down since opting out of his contract in 2016, the same year the quarterback began his protest when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. The player stirred a national controversy in an effort to protest police brutality in the country. Other players soon took his cue and joined the protest in the 2016 season, while many others have continued the protest.
Kaepernick's move drew heavy criticism from President Donald Trump, who even called for the owners of the NFL teams to fire the players who were participating in it. The NFL, last year, in 2017, announced a rule which required all the players to stand during the national anthem. The association, however, gave an option to the players to stand off the field until the ceremony was over instead of kneeling outside.
Kaepernick has continued to keep in shape, in hope that a franchise will sign him and he will get to play again. The quarterback, who had led San Francisco to the 2013 Super Bowl, last February had reached a confidential settlement with the NFL after alleging that the league blackballed him. The NFL had arranged tryouts for the quarterback at Atlanta Falcons training facility in Georgia last year, however, the location was shifted to a high school stadium at the last minute. Kaepernick, while commenting on the change, had stated that it was done so that the media could be present. Reports state that Kaepernick's team decided to move the location of his workout after they accused the NFL of not acting rightfully.