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9 Aug, 2019 16:59

'If he's good enough': Trump says he would 'love' Kaepernick NFL return

'If he's good enough': Trump says he would 'love' Kaepernick NFL return

US President Donald Trump has said he would "love" to see NFL outcast Colin Kaepernick return to the league, but only if the quarterback "is good enough" to compete and not just "as a PR move."

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.

READ MORE: Outrage as Nike scraps American flag sneaker after complaint from Colin Kaepernick

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."

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.