Baseball legend Henry Aaron and the NAACP have weighed in on the fate of unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Aaron, in an online video published Wednesday by AllThatTV, said he thinks Kaepernick is “getting a raw deal” and called on an NFL team to give the outspoken quarterback “a chance to do his thing.”
Later Wednesday, the NAACP said that it is seeking a meeting with Roger Goodell to discuss Kaepernick, writing in a letter to the NFL commissioner that it is “no sheer coincidence” that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback remains unsigned.
Derrick Johnson — the NAACP’s interim president and CEO — says “no player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech.”
Kaepernick became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem in what he called a protest against oppression of people of color. He opted out of his contract in March and became a free agent.
Aaron, who faced racial prejudice when he broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record in 1974, specifically mentioned the Ravens — his favorite team — and general manager Ozzie Newsome.
“[Kaepernick] has gone to all these camps, I suppose, and nobody seems to think he stands a chance to be a No. 1 [quarterback],” Aaron told interviewer Roland S. Martin. “Here’s a man, a young player, that almost carried a team to a championship, to a Super Bowl. I think somebody needs to give this man a chance.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.