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Aaron Rodgers: racial injustice is ‘real’ and Kaepernick should be in NFL

Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best player in the NFL, believes his fellow quarterback Colin Kaepernick deserves to be playing in the league

Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best player in the NFL, believes his fellow quarterback Colin Kaepernick deserves to be playing in the league and his continued absence is due to his protest over racial injustice in the US.

The former San Francisco 49ers player became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem in what he called a protest against oppression of people of color. He opted out of his contract in March and became a free agent, but so far, noNFLteams have signed him for the upcoming season, which kicks off next week.

I think [Kaepernick] should be on a roster right now, Rodgers says in a wide ranging interview with ESPN published on Wednesday. I think because of his protests, hes not.

In the interview, Rodgers said he would not join in the protests which have continued into the current pre-season but was 100% supportive of players who chose to express their feelings. He added that the US needs to remedy and improve racial equality, and that he wanted to improve his understanding of the subject. I think the best way I can say this is: I dont understand what its like to be in that situation. What it is to be pulled over, or profiled, or any number of issues that have happened, that Colin was referencing or any of my team-mates have talked to me about … But I know its a real thing my black team-mates have to deal with.

Rodgers was also asked his college team-mate and former New England Patriots lineman Ryan OCallaghan, who recently came out as gay. Im incredibly proud of him, Rodgers said. I know he had a lot of fear about it, and how he would be accepted, and how people would change around him. I think society is finally moving in the right direction, as far as treating all people with respect and love and acceptance and appreciation. And the locker room, I think the sport is getting closer.

Rodgers Packers begin the season with a tough game against the Seattle Seahawks on 10 September.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/30/aaron-rodgers-colin-kaepernick-nfl-protests

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