“Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s going to take a team to make that decision,” Goodell said. “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.”
Referring to Kaepernick in the ESPN interview, Goodell said: “If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome (him) to that table and to be able to help us, and guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in communities.”
Kaepernick has been invited into these conversations before, Goodell said.
“We want to make sure that everybody’s welcome at that table, and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues that have been around unfortunately for a long time,” Goodell said. “But I hope we’re at a point now where everybody’s committed to making long-term, sustainable change.”
Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl, played his last game on January 1, 2017. He became a free agent after.
CNN’s Chloe Melas, Steve Almasy, Andy Scholes and David Close contributed to this report.