Ryan told reporters during a video conference call that Kaepernick should have “every opportunity” to resume his career in the NFL despite not playing a snap since the 2016 season.
“I think [the NFL] referenced that they have made mistakes in terms of how they’ve handled peaceful protests and players voicing their opinions,” Ryan said, according to ESPN. “I think they’ve recognized that they’ve made mistakes there. And as far as Colin being back in the league, I think he should have every opportunity to. He created awareness for a situation that, it’s taken some time, but people are becoming more active in terms of their response to it.
“I think, from that standpoint, his protest is being heard at this point, but it’s taken too long. But I think he should have every opportunity to have a job and to have a spot at this point.”
“I think the NFL can start by signing Kap back,” Hyde said, according to ESPN. “I think if they sign Kap back, that’ll show that they’re really trying to move in a different direction. Because Kap was making a statement four years ago about what’s going on in today’s world and the NFL didn’t bother to listen to him then, so I think they should start by doing that. After that, I’m not really sure what the NFL can do.”
Former NFL great Warren Moon and former NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart have both said that Kaepernick should be in the league. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., went as far as to say the NFL should apologize to Kaepernick and the New England Patriots should sign him.