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Roger Goodell discusses Colin Kaepernick, other NFL issues

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference during Super Bowl LIII Week at the NFL Media Center inside the Georgia World Congress Center on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Atlanta. Credit: Getty Images/Mike Zarrilli

ATLANTA – Besides delivering his annual state-of-the-NFL address and answering questions about the blown pass-interference call in the NFC Championship Game, commississioner Roger Goodell addressed other issues.

  • Asked about why former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem through the 2016 season, hasn’t been signed by another team, Goodell said it was a matter for individual clubs to decide. Kaepernick recently filed suit against the NFL, accusing it of collusion to prevent him from playing again.
  • The firings of Todd Bowles (Jets), Marvin Lewis (Bengals), Hue Jackson (Browns), Steve Wilks (Cardinals) and Vance Joseph (Broncos) left only two African-American coaches in the NFL, the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin and the Chargers’ Anthony Lynn.
  • Goodell said he believes the “Rooney Rule” is still working as a means of promoting diversity hiring. “We don’t look at the success or failure of the Rooney Rule” in a given year, he said. “It’s had an extraordinary impact in the NFL. It’s given people an opportunity.”
  • Goodell said he hopes the Raiders can resolve their stadium situation for the 2019 season. Owner Mark Davis said the team was unlikely to play in the Oakland Coliseum after the city of Oakland sued the team over its impending departure to Las Vegas. It’s possible the Raiders will play at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, or Levi’s Stadium, the 49ers’ home.
  • Goodell said the NFL might get involved in a Broncos ownership dispute among the heirs of Pat Bowlen, who stepped down in July 2014 because of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • An NFL team in London? Not yet, according to Goodell. “The issue for us still is, can we do this competitively for the team that is based there, but also for the 31 other clubs? That involves scheduling, it involves a lot of other matters that you don’t want to compromise. And until we can get comfortable on that I don’t think we’ll be NFL-ready in London.”
  • Goodell said an investigation into former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, who was involved in a domestic abuse case last year, will conclude “soon.” Once that happens, Hunt will return to the Commissioner’s Exempt List if he is signed by another club. He likely would face a league-mandated suspension.
  • Goodell said suspended Patriots receiver Josh Gordon, who is receiving inpatient treatment for a recurring addiction problem, “is working at it. He understands what he has to do. This is well beyond football. This is for his life.”

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