NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sidestepped questions of whether he was comfortable with Colin Kaepernick remaining unsigned in the two years since he kneeled during the national anthem to protest social injustice.
He said clubs are in charge of their own personnel decisions and that "is something we take pride in."
But he did not comment on questions about whether he was OK with the way the league has responded to what many believe is collusion by teams to not sign Kaepernick.
He also did not address how the league's actions would be viewed in history.
“They all want to win. And they’re going to do whatever it takes to win.”— George Marshalek (@MarshalekWSB) January 30, 2019
When asked why it’s been 2 years since Colin #Kaepernick has played, Commissioner Goodell says it’s up to each individual team to decide if they want to sign him... pic.twitter.com/N3yvTCFwdE
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Roger Goodell's message to New Orleans fans: I feel your pain.
But don't get your hopes up for change.
In speaking about the missed pass-interference call that might have cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl, the commissioner said the competition committee will certainly consider changing the rules to allow recourse for a blatant non-call.
But Goodell said league decision-makers have long been opposed to having flags thrown by a replay official or someone in New York, and changing that dynamic would be a big obstacle to overcome.
"Are there solutions for this?" Goodell said. "That's what they committee needs to focus on: What are the solutions and what are the unintended consequences?"
The commissioner said he never heeded the call from some Saints of stepping in and reversing the result of the NFC championship game.
"Absolutely not," Goodell said.
He cited a part of the NFL rulebook that said the commissioner could not use his authority to overturn results based on routine errors and judgment calls.
There had been calls from New Orleans for Goodell to step in and overturn the result based on his power to step in when egregious mistakes have been made.
MINORITY COACHES IN NFL
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will keep focusing on opportunities to create a deeper pool of minority coaching candidates.
At his State of the League news conference Wednesday, Goodell lauded the NFL's Rooney Rule, designed 20 years ago to ensure minorities get interview chances when head-coaching opportunities come available.
An Associated Press analysis of coaching staffs for the 2018 season found only four minorities in the stepping-stone positions of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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