An NFL team signing Colin Kaepernick would show the league is serious about addressing racial inequality, Seattle Seahawks running back Carlos Hyde said Monday.
Hyde was a teammate of Kaepernick’s while the two were on the San Francisco 49ers from 2014 to 2016. Hyde addressed the league signing the free-agent quarterback in a videoconference call with reporters, according to ESPN.
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“I think the NFL can start by signing Kap back,” Hyde said. “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.”
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Hyde said he supported Kaepernick’s protest but was more concerned about football at the time. San Francisco was coming off a 5-11 season in 2015 and finished 2-14 in 2016. He added that he understood “the message he was putting out.”
Hyde said he has not kneeled during the national anthem and doesn’t plan on doing so unless “it’s something that the team wants to do and our team decides that as a team we are going to protest together, then I’m with the team at all times.”
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Hyde spent last season with the Houston Texans. He rushed for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns.