Speaking to CBS This Morning on Tuesday, the 12-year NFL veteran said the league hasn’t yet “gotten it right.”
“Until they apologize specifically to Colin Kaepernick or assign him to a team, I don’t think that they will end up on the right side of history,” he said.
Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, has been unsigned to a team since 2017, after he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
Following the death of George Floyd last month, hundreds — both protesters and police officers — have taken a knee during demonstrations across the US.
Earlier this month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league should have listened to players earlier about racism.
“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Goodell said.
Goodell did not mention Kaepernick nor the former player’s peaceful protests.
During his interview, Jenkins said that while the league has attempted — through donations and other movements — to show they’re serious about the issue, they “have ignored and have not acknowledged” Kaepernick.
The veteran safety signed with the New Orleans Saints this offseason after six seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Seattle Seahawks’ new signing Carlos Hyde also spoke up about the league’s statement, saying the NFL should offer Kaepernick a way back to the sport to prove they are serious about change.
Hyde is Kaepernick’s former teammate at the 49ers.
“What can the NFL do? I think the NFL can start by signing Kaep back,” Hyde said Monday.
“I think if they sign Kaep back, that’ll show that they’re really trying to move in a different direction,” he added. “Because Kaep was making a statement four years ago about what’s going on in today’s world and the NFL didn’t bother to listen to him then, so I think they should start by doing that.”
In his statement, Goodell said he would be reaching out to players who have spoken out about these issues to see how the league can “improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”