National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday he believes free agent Colin Kaepernick will eventually find a team after being shunned in the wake of his national anthem protest.
Kaepernick has found himself unemployed since being released by the San Francisco 49ers at the end of last season, a campaign dominated by his protests against the treatment of minorities by police.
The quarterback's failure to find a team when several less talented players have managed to win contracts has led to speculation that Kaepernick is paying the price for his activism.
Speaking as the new season prepared to kick off later Thursday, Goodell told Fox Sports 1 television he believed Kaepernick would eventually find a team.
"The thing we're always about is meritocracy and opportunity," Goodell said. "I want to see everyone get an opportunity including Colin but those are decisions made by football people.
"I'm still convinced he'll get that opportunity when the right opportunity comes along and that's what our league is all about as you know."
Pressed on the issue, and whether he felt personally that Kaepernick was good enough to earn a place on an NFL roster, Goodell replied: "I'm not a football expert."
"I'm a huge fan. I have a role as commissioner also, but for me I watch the games and enjoy and I let the football people make those decisions," Goodell said.
"And the reality is there's 32 different decisions, and multiple decisions within an organization, so there's always a dispute. The idea of who can play, who can't play, who's best for our system and not best for our system are decisions that should be made by those 32 teams."