'If he's good enough': Trump says he would 'love' Kaepernick NFL return
Kaepernick, 31, has been without a team since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017.
He had initiated the ‘take a knee’ anthem protests the previous year over perceived racial injustice in the US, and later filed a lawsuit against NFL owners accusing them of colluding not to sign him.
That grievance was settled in February, although he has remained unsigned.
Earlier this week, Kaepernick posted a video on social media showing him training, writing: “5am. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready.” He also tallied the number of days he had been "denied work."
5am. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready. pic.twitter.com/AGczejA1rM— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 7, 2019
Trump has frequently been critic-in-chief of the anthem protests launched by Kaepernick, but speaking to reporters outside the White House on Friday he claimed he would “love” to see him return to the NFL – “if he’s good enough.”
“If he was good enough, they’d hire him. Why wouldn’t he play if he was good enough?" Trump said.
“I think if he’s good enough, I know the owners – I know (Patriots owner Robert) Kraft, I know so many of the owners – if he’s good enough, they’d sign him.
"I know these people. They would sign him in a heartbeat. They would do anything they can to win games," he added.
“So I’d like to see it. Frankly, I’d love to see Kaepernick come in, if he’s good enough. But I don’t want to see him come in because somebody thinks it’s a good PR move. If he’s good enough, he would be in.”
The NFL pre-season is currently underway, with the season kicking off on September 6.