NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement in support of Black Lives Matter and those who peacefully protest. He did not say a word about Kaepernick.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has issued a public statement condemning racists and sending support to Black Lives Matter and those peacefully protesting. In the statement, released via a video on social media, Goodell said that the NFL was “wrong in silencing…players from peacefully protesting” police brutality.
In the video, Goodell said:
We, the National Football League, comdemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. 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. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter. I personally protest with you and wanted to be part of the much-needed change in this country.
Goodell also said that, “Without black players, there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff.”
This is quite the turn for Goodell. In 2016, Colin Kaepernick, who was the quarterback for the San Fransico 49ers, protested during the anthem, trying to raise awareness around police brutality. He sparked off a movement of players protesting, one that the league didn’t encourage and, at various points tried to suppress. Making matters more knotty is that after the 2016 season Kaepernick hasn’t played on a team since.
Interestingly enough, Goodell doesn’t mention Kaepernick or his movement in the video. Nor does he apologize to him.
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv
— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
Goodell’s video comes a day after more than a dozen NFL players sent a video message to the league about their response to the death of George Floyd, and the protests around the world.
In that video, according to ESPN, players told the NFL that they needed to speak out against “racism and the systemic oppression of black people.” Star New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas started the video by saying, “It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered” and then various players asked, “What if I was George Floyd?”