Inside Roger Goodell and Colin Kaepernick’s ‘Secret’ Meeting
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How OZY imagines the tormented commissioner could end Kap’s three-year exile.
Scene: A sweltering late-summer day at NFL headquarters on Park Avenue in New York City. Commissioner Roger Goodell welcomes quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick into his spacious office. Four helmets are arranged on the desk.
Goodell: Kap … can I call you Kap?
Kaepernick: That’s cool.
Please … sit.
Thank you for agreeing to meet me. It’s long overdue, and that’s on me. And thank you for coming alone; I didn’t want this to be a show — no cameras, no media. You’re not on Snap, right?
[laughs] Nah … we good.
To think that you haven’t set foot on an NFL field since Jan. 1, 2017, is unconscionable, and I can’t hide behind the league’s 32 owners who are too gun-shy, or whatever, to sign you. Not anymore.
I’m happy to hear that.
Think if Muhammad Ali had hung it up rather than come back after his Vietnam War refusal.
I mean, you’ve been a solid citizen — while even Kareem Hunt has no problem getting picked up. In my league, apparently, wife-beating is less dangerous than kneeling. I know it’s crazy to hear me talk like this …
Actually, no, it isn’t. I know the game. And it’s all a game. I know you wanted to reach out to A$AP Rocky first … but ol’ boy is always on Twitter.
I mean, you didn’t even say anything when the Eagles signed Josh McCown to a one-year contract. How old is Josh, 53? That told me it’s not a question of talent. It’s time to end this. No disrespect to Josh and his 23-53 win-loss record as a starter, but you’re better than him and many of the 85 quarterbacks who’ve inked deals since you became a free agent. That’s just … cray, man, and I own that.
It ends today, though. People see my ends but don’t appreciate how tough this job is. One minute I’m shaking hands with Robert Kraft, and God knows where those mitts have been; and every time I see Jerry Jones he’s challenging me to a drinking contest.
Yep … and I’m not even asking for $49.5 million a year plus use of a private jet for life and lifetime health insurance for my family. I just want police to stop shooting Black men indiscriminately.
Right, right. This has spiraled out of my control, if I’m being honest. The narrative that you are anti-American and anti-flag took flight, kinda like your 90-yard run against the Chargers in 2014. Damn, that was nice. Our league … my league … needs Colin Kaepernick in it. There, I said it. Besides, your IG is fire.
Oh … is that you, @BuffCommish, trying to DM me, fam?
Back to the offer, Kap.
Wait, wait, wait … last time I made a deal with your league, I lost 17 followers on IG.
No, Kap … hear me out. There are four helmets in front of you. For different reasons these locations could be a good fit for you, but you must decide …
Wait. You tryin’ to get me to vote? You know I don’t do that.
What? OK … so Indianapolis would be my pick, if I’m being honest. With Andrew Luck gone and you there imagine what that would do for ratings.
I won’t be used, though, Mr. Goodell. And Indy would do nothing for my brand. I’m sort of a big deal. You already know.
C’mon, Kap. You said you know the game. How about Seattle? I know at some point they were looking at you. Imagine a QB tandem of you and Russell Wilson. Damn … scary.
Go to Seattle so they can Beast Mode me? Nah, B.
I don’t even know what that means, Kap.
Then you have the Panthers. That’s not a bad market, and you know David Tepper is woke. (It’s “woke,” right?) He signed Eric Reid and we’re all still getting paid.
Mr. Commissioner, in all honesty, you don’t want me in North Carolina around all that voter fraud and gerrymandering.
Kap, you’re not helping. I threw the 49ers’ helmet on the table too. It’s familiar territory for you, but they also need a quarterback. Has Jimmy G played a full game since he got there?
Jimmy G’s a G, though. Respect.
I agree, he could be the face of the league, but his 15 minutes might be up.
So there you are. You’re still a young man, only 32 in November. There’s still time to make this right. Think if Muhammad Ali had hung it up rather than come back after his Vietnam War refusal … this is huge for your brand.
I’ve never said this publicly, but I feel a special kinship with the brothers; you see how they show me love on draft night, right? Well, I digress, man; it’s almost GymFlow time, and I have a lunch with Hov at Mamo in SoHo. You’ve been there, right?
Here’s my personal cell; communicate directly with me. Your car’s outside.
Bet. I’ll shout you out on Hot 97 later. Nessa’s a big fan.