Carlos Hyde believes the NFL can prove it is making progress by bringing back quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Amid anti-racism protests in the United States and around the world after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month, the NFL apologised for not listening to its players earlier.
Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem, starting in 2016, in protest against racial injustice and police brutality, but that was the last season the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback played in the NFL.
Hyde, a former team-mate of Kaepernick's at the 49ers, said the quarterback should be signed by another team.
"The NFL could start by signing 'Kaep' back," the Seattle Seahawks running back said on Monday.
"If they sign 'Kaep' back, that'll show that they're really trying to move in a different direction. 'Kaep' was making the statement four years ago about what's going on in today's world, and the NFL didn't bother to listen to him then.
"I think they should start by doing that."
Hyde, who signed with the Seahawks last month, said he agreed with Kaepernick's move in 2016.
"I remember 'Kaep' making his peaceful protest, and I was all for it. I understand the message he was putting out," he said.
"I understood, because I came from Cincinnati, Ohio – Lincoln Heights in Cincinnati, it's not the best area. I would see police brutality, pretty much everybody in the neighbourhood struggling, violence, drugs, all that. There's not opportunity there.
"I was fortunate enough to have my grandmother live in Naples, Florida, so I was able to get away from all of that and pretty much start my life over.
"But not everybody is fortunate enough to have grandparents who live other places. So with that, I was all for what 'Kaep' was saying, I'm still for it."