Malcolm Jenkins says NFL won't be 'on the right side of history' until it addresses Kaepernick

The New Orleans Saints safety criticized the commissioner for the way the league has handled player protests against police brutality.
NFL: OCT 08 Cardinals at Eagles
Eagles Malcolm Jenkins (27) during the National Anthem before the game between the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 8, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.Kyle Ross / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images file

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By Wilson Wong

New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins criticized the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for failing to address the way the NFL handled Colin Kaepernick and his kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality.

The NFL still hasn’t “gotten it right,” Jenkins said Tuesday during an appearance on “CBS This Morning.”

“Until they apologize, specifically, to Colin Kaepernick, or assign him to a team, I don't think that they will end up on the right side of history."

In a video posted to NFL’s Twitter on Friday, Goodell said the league condemned racism and the systematic oppression of black people. He added that the league was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”

While the league has made efforts to address racial injustice by listening to players, donating money and creating the Inspire Change platform, the NFL has remained silent on Kaepernick, Jenkins said.

Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem before games in 2016 after the police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling earlier that year. Kaepernick, who has not played in the league since, has received renewed attention amid the George Floyd protests.

At Floyd’s funeral on Tuesday, the Rev. Al Sharpton admonished Goodell, saying that Kaepernick deserved more than “some empty apology.”

“Give Colin Kaepernick a job back,” Sharpton said. His statement was met with loud applause from the congregation.

"That's the only thing people want to hear," Jenkins said. "If it's not going to correct that or acknowledge that, then everything else doesn't need to be said."