Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still without a job in the NFL after opting out of his contract following the 2016 campaign, but commissioner Roger Goodell stressed he is not being blackballed.
"We've always invited Colin to come over," Goodell told CNBC's Squawk Box on Monday, via Berkeley Lovelace Jr. of CNBC. "He's welcome to come over and meet at any point and time. We had an open door on that. There was some meeting set up with the player's coalition, and they were invited by the player's coalition."
Kaepernick made waves as a member of the 49ers when he protested racial inequality and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. He filed a grievance in October alleging the league owners colluded against him to keep him out of the league.
Kaepernick was the first to kneel during the anthem as a way of protesting inequality in the United States, but a number of NFL players have done so this year—especially after President Donald Trump made critical comments regarding those who do before Week 3 of the season.
The criticism is notable when juxtaposed against Kaepernick's resume, which includes a Super Bowl appearance and 16 touchdown passes to just four interceptions last season.
While the Nevada product is still without a job on the field, Sports Illustrated recently honored him with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award for his charity work and activism.
Goodell is not hurting for work, as Adam Schefter of ESPN reported he inked a five-year contract extension worth $200 million.