During an appearance on FS1's First Things First on Thursday (via Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith), Goodell was asked why he thinks Kaepernick has yet to find a team willing to sign him this offseason:
"I'm not a football expert. I'm a huge fan. I have a role as commissioner also, but for me I watch the games and enjoy and I let the football people make those decisions. And the reality is there's 32 different decisions, and multiple decisions within an organization, so there's always a dispute. The idea of who can play, who can't play, who's best for our system and not best for our system, are decisions that should be made by those 32 teams."
Kaepernick has generated little interest as a free agent this offseason. He met with the Seattle Seahawks in May, but the team decided against making him a formal contract offer.
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said during Tuesday's episode of Inside the NFL on Showtime the Ravens were on the verge of signing Kaepernick before Kaepernick's girlfriend sent out a tweet that offended the team, via Bleacher Report's Doug Farrar.
Last year, Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem prior to games in protest against racial and social injustices in the United States. A number of NFL players followed his lead, and the demonstrations have continued in the 2017 preseason.
In August, a crowd of Kaepernick supporters gathered outside of NFL headquarters in New York to rally for the quarterback as he continues to wait for a team willing to sign him.