The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, released a statement on Friday, on behalf of the league signifying “we were wrong” on how they handled the player protests of kneeling during the National Anthem.
This apology comes 10 days into the national protests and civil unrest in cities nationwide in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Another factor was New Orleans star quarterback Drew Brees who on Wednesday said that he would never support anyone that knelt during the National Anthem but did a 180-degree turn when called out by prominent black NFL players the next day.
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
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said. “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 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.”
Trump took to Twitter to share his thoughts on Brees, who has twice apologized since saying in an interview on Wednesday that he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.” I got my own take on Drew Brees reversal. He got a call from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 48-person Selection Committee threatening to keep him off any considerations if he didn’t.
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