Pete Carroll: Someone in NFL ‘is interested’ in Colin Kaepernick

Pete Carroll said Thursday that an NFL team is interested in possibly bringing back Colin Kaepernick.

The Super Bowl-winning coach, who has been the Seattle Seahawks coach since 2010, said he received a call from a head coach/GM and that “someone is interested” in bringing back Kaepernick, according to Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest.

He did not specify who the coach or general manager was, according to the report.

Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 season to protest police brutality, has not played in the league since that season. His form of protest polarized the country and the NFL fan base with some praising him for fighting against racial injustice while others said he disrespected the flag.

The Seahawks had contacted Kaepernick twice and worked him out once in 2017, according to Yahoo Sports, but Carroll said Thursday the reason they passed on him had nothing to do with his kneeling for the national anthem. At the time, Carroll said he viewed Kaepernick as a starting quarterback and that the Seahawks already had a starter in Russell Wilson, so they decided to sign Austin Davis instead.

Carroll doubled down on his respect for Kaepernick on Thursday but said they are sticking with former Jet Geno Smith to be the backup for Wilson, according to NBC Sports Northwest. He said that could change if Wilson got hurt.

Carroll said Kaepernick “deserves to be playing,” but that he loves “our setup right now.”

Last week NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in response to a video from NFL stars pushing for the league to do more in the fight for social justice, delivered a nearly word-for-word positive response to the players’ call for action.

“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said from his home. “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.”

In 2019, Kaepernick and the NFL agreed to a settlement on a collusion grievance.

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