“Well, listen, if he wants to pursue a career in the NFL, then he’s obviously going to need a team to make that decision,” Goodell said. “But I welcome that, support the club in making that decision and encourage them to do so.”
Referring to Kaepernick in an interview with ESPN, Goodell said: “If his efforts are not in the field, but continue to work in this space, we welcome him (him) to that table and he will be able to help and guide us, help us bring better decisions about the types of things that need to be done in communities. “
Kaepernick had been invited to those talks before, Goodell said.
“We want to make sure everyone is welcome at that table and trying to help us get rid of some very complex, difficult issues that have unfortunately been present for a long time,” Goodell said. “But I hope we are now at a time when everyone is committed to achieving long-term, sustainable change.”
Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl, played his last game on January 1, 2017. After that, he became a free agent.
CNN’s Chloe Melas, Steve Almasy, Andy Scholes and David Close contributed to this report.