The acting NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, took to social media to admit that the league mishandled the player’s protest in recent years. The demonstrations, which usually involved kneeling during the National Anthem, were done as a peaceful protest against racism and police brutality. The commissioner also said that the NFL would support the Black Lives Matter movement, but did not go into details at this time.
Most of the player protests began with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Back in 2017, Kaepernick sued the NFL, accusing the organization of ousting him because of his peaceful demonstrations.
In the video, Goodell said, “First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the families who have endured police brutality. We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systemic 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.”
Goodell said, “We, the National Football League, believe Black lives matter.” The commissioner added, “I personally protest with you, and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country. 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. We are listening. I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”
The video is a response to NFL players, who publicly called on the NFL to admit it’s wrongdoing in the past, while “silencing our players from peacefully protesting.”
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