American Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell has admitted in a video message that the NFL made mistakes by not listening to players like Colin Kaepernick, who denounce racism.
We, the National Football League, admit that we were wrong because we didn’t listen to NFL players before and encouraged everyone to speak up and protest peacefully, said Goodell. “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.”
Within the most extensive sports league in the U.S., there is a constant fuss about players who sit on their knees in protest while playing the national anthem.
This practice was popularized in 2016 by black quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest racial injustice and police brutality. After that action, Kaepernick was nowhere to work.
“Protests across the country have marked the centuries of silence, inequality, and oppression of black players, coaches, fans, and staff,” said Goodell.
“I will contact players who have made their voices heard and others about how we can improve things.” On Thursday, a group of prominent players called on the NFL to admit that it is wrong to silence players and to support protests early.
Goodell’s message comes just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump repeated his call to end kneeling protests during the national anthem. “We should be standing upright, ideally with a greeting or a hand to heart,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “There are other things you can protest against, but not against our Big American Flag – Don’t Kneel!”