A former top NFL executive believes a team should sign Colin Kaepernick immediately, given the unrest that has taken hold in the country amid protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

Joe Lockhart, who served as NFL vice president for communications and government affairs from 2016-18, was part of commissioner Roger Goodell’s team that dealt with the public relations fallout when Kaepernick began kneeling in protest during the pregame national anthem.

“The commissioner and several other league executives spent a lot of effort prodding and pushing owners to sign him,” Lockhart wrote in a CNN op-ed titled “Now is the moment to sign Colin Kaepernick” published early Saturday.

Lockhart detailed how the kneeling protest led to Kaepernick losing his job. He wrote that Goodell tried to persuade a team to sign the quarterback, and that the league attempted to improve race relations during his tenure there.

“Though Kaepernick didn’t get his job back, I thought we had all done a righteous job, considering,” Lockhart wrote. “I was wrong. I think the teams were wrong for not signing him. Watching what’s going on in Minnesota, I understand how badly wrong we were.”

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