Former NFL RB: Colin Kaepernick Was "Ahead Of His Time"

Roger Goodell admitted that the NFL was “wrong” for not listening to players who were protesting police brutality

Zach Gelb
June 08, 2020 - 9:35 am

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a video statement last Friday, saying that the league was “wrong” for not listening to NFL players who were protesting police brutality. While the video did not reference Colin Kaepernick by name, Goodell said that the NFL will “encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”

Reaction to the statement has been mixed, but it will be interesting to see what protests, if any, transpire during the 2020 NFL season.

“I think when you look at Colin Kaepernick, maybe he was ahead of his time, but he understood the landscape of what was happening in the African American community, and a lot of people just wasn’t on board,” former NFL running back Gary Ellerson said on The Zach Gelb Show. “That sometimes happens within the history of our country. I think if you look at Dr. Martin Luther King, that goes way back, but there was a movement with that. There was also a movement with Colin Kaepernick, and we just didn’t get behind it because a lot of people really didn’t see it.”

George Floyd, however, changed that.

“I just think with the death of George Floyd, we saw it,” Ellerson said. “It was on camera. We saw people pleading for his life. And I think he affected everyone.”

Indeed, Floyd’s death sparked protests throughout the country and around the world. Those protests, it is worth noting, could lead to meaningful change.

“I will say this: My white brothers and sisters that are out there, that are holding arms with our other brothers out there – I’m going to get a little emotional right now,” Ellerson said. “I think in years past, if you go look at the march on Selma, you didn’t see very many white people with Dr. Martin Luther King. I think in our country today, you see white people holding hands with black people, and we never really had that. In order for us to come out of this – the black people are in the minority – in order for us to come out of this, we’re going to need white people with us because they’re the majority. We can't do it by ourselves. We need people that look like you to help us eradicate this.”