GMA Hosts Plead for NFL Team to Sign Kaepernick

Following a full report on Thursday touting secret audio tapes of an October 2017 NFL meeting to discuss the League’s handling of national anthem protests, the hosts of ABC’s Good Morning America pleaded for a team to sign the player at the center of the controversy, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Reporting on the New York Times story about the recordings, ESPN correspondent Ryan Smith highlighted: “And for some players, the paper says the focus was on Colin Kaepernick. Openly asking why after two years the quarterback is still out of a job. Something he said he anticipated at the time.” Smith noted: “Eagles linebacker Chris Long reportedly speaking out at the meeting, saying, ‘We all agree in this room as players that he should be on a roster.’”

 

 

As the segment wrapped up, GMA co-host and former NFL player Michael Strahan marveled: “It’s really amazing this came out.” Smith replied: “Yeah. And we’ll see if Kaepernick ends up on a team.” Exasperated co-host Robin Roberts declared: “Well, the draft is tonight and depending on where players end up – but come on, the guy – ” Strahan interjected: “He’s talented. He can still play football.”

Fellow co-host George Stephanopoulos agreed that Kaepernick was “Good enough to be on a roster.” Roberts insisted: “He’s more than good enough to be on a roster, yeah.” Smith pointed out: “And the players said so in that meeting.” Strahan concluded that he was “glad to hear them speak up.”

While introducing the story, Stephanopoulos emphasized how team owners at the meeting also attacked President Trump: “You hear Patriots owner Robert Kraft criticizing his friend President Trump, calling his comments ‘divisive and horrible.’” Smith explained:

The three-hour huddle last October also in the wake of growing public hostility from fans. Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a friend and supporter of the President....calling players kneeling “the elephant in the room,” according to the Times. With Kraft reportedly saying, “The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don't feel is in the best interests of America. It’s divisive and it’s horrible.” But Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, who locked arms with his players in late September, taking the opposite view, reportedly saying, “All the damage Trump is going to do is done.”

The New York Times scoop gave the ABC morning show the perfect excuse to bash Trump and sing the praises of a left-wing activist athlete like Kaepernick.

Here is a full transcript of the April 26 report:

7:35 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re going to turn now to that stunning secret recording that takes us inside an NFL meeting of players and owners, where they discussed the national anthem kneeling protests. You hear Patriots owner Robert Kraft criticizing his friend President Trump, calling his comments “divisive and horrible.” ESPN’s Ryan Smith is here with those details. Good morning, Ryan.

RYAN SMITH: Good morning, George. “Let’s keep this confidential,” Roger Goodell reportedly said at that unprecedented summit meeting last October. Well, that didn’t happen. These new tapes out just a day before the NFL Draft is set to start, revealing how owners and players grappled with issues surrounding two men not in the room, Colin Kaepernick and President Donald Trump.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Secret Tapes Inside NFL Anthem Meeting; Closed-Door Discussion on Player Protests]

This morning, new audiotapes obtained by The New York Times reportedly revealing what happened behind closed doors. In a meeting between 30 people, including NFL owners, players, and Commissioner Roger Goodell, about national anthem protests and the response of President Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP [SEPTEMBER 2017]: Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say, “Get that son of a [bleep] off the field right now. Out. He’s fired.”

SMITH: The three-hour huddle last October also in the wake of growing public hostility from fans. Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a friend and supporter of the President...

TRUMP: I have friends, they own teams, and Bob Kraft is a great owner.

SMITH: ...calling players kneeling “the elephant in the room,” according to the Times. With Kraft reportedly saying, “The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don't feel is in the best interests of America. It’s divisive and it’s horrible.” But Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, who locked arms with his players in late September, taking the opposite view, reportedly saying, “All the damage Trump is going to do is done.”

And for some players, the paper says the focus was on Colin Kaepernick. Openly asking why after two years the quarterback is still out of a job. Something he said he anticipated at the time.

COLIN KAEPERNICK [THE UNDEFEATED, 2016]: You’re gonna have that backlash for trying to fight for people.

SMITH: Eagles linebacker Chris Long reportedly speaking out at the meeting, saying, “We all agree in this room as players that he should be on a roster.” And The New York Times indicating League owners declined to address Kaepernick’s situation directly in those meetings, and since this time, players and owners have agreed that the latter would fund $100 million over seven years for social justice causes.

MICHAEL STRAHAN: It’s really amazing this came out.

SMITH: Yeah. And we’ll see if Kaepernick ends up on a team.

ROBIN ROBERTS: Well, the draft is tonight and depending on where players end up – but come on, the guy –  

STRAHAN: He’s talented. He can still play football.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good enough to be on a roster.

ROBERTS: He’s more than good enough to be on a roster, yeah.

SMITH: And the players said so in that meeting.

ROBERTS: Yeah, we heard it.

STRAHAN: Yup, glad to hear them speak up.

NB Daily Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Sports ABC Good Morning America New York Times Video NFL Ryan Smith Robin Roberts George Stephanopoulos Donald Trump

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