“It has been a difficult time in our country,” Goodell said Friday.
“In particular, black people in our country. First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the families that have endured police brutality. We, the National Football League, condemn 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 want to be a 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 move forward together for a better and more united NFL family.”
Goodell’s message has gotten mixed reviews. Today it got a side-eye from a current NFL free agent.
Insert former New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins linebacker Junior Galette.
Galette wrote an open letter to Goodell and the NFL and in a tweet stated: “I want to believe you
@nflcommish but when I was unfairly profiled by police and later spoke up about players feeling enslaved to the league’s unequal standards, I was blackballed and run out”
In his open letter, Galette also said that players are punished harshly if they have any involvement with police officers and states that the NFL should adopt the “innocent until proven guilty” legal principle.
“Far too often, the NFL penalizes players — sometimes severely — for encounters with law enforcement before receiving due process,” he wrote.
“Players are treated as ‘guilty until proven innocent,’ in the eyes of both the NFL and the public who sees only the punitive action. This creates a domino effect, exacerbated by the same systemic racism you referenced.”
For those keeping score at home: A woman accused Galette of assaulting her in January 2015.
Galette was arrested and charged with simple battery involving domestic violence.
A month later, his charges were dismissed, but he was suspended for two weeks by the NFL for the incident.
Galette was also arrested in April 2017 and was chased down and tased by police.
Per Sporting News: Police at the time said Galette was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to comply after getting into a fight and running away at a spring break festival in Mississippi.
Galette signed with the Redskins in 2015. The linebacker tore his left Achilles tendon and missed that entire season and in 2016, Galette tore his right Achilles tendon and missed that season.
The following year, he signed a 1-year deal in 2017 and played in 16 games for the Redskins, finishing with three sacks. He has not played since.
Galette, who went undrafted in 2010 believes tells me that he’s not played since 2017 because he’s been blackballed.
“Well I had all my intentions of going to play for the Rams in 2018 as I am very familiar with the coaching staff,” he told me via text message this morning.
“I had been in direct communication with them; even flew out there but the fix was already in. I didn’t even workout after being in talks directly with the head coach about how excited he and colleagues were to have me. They flew me out and sent me back to my hotel in the midst of me putting my cleats on to workout. Left confused and emotions less i had a feeling of what was going on. The explanation I Got was “for reasons That are out of yours and our control.”
A product of Saint Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, New Jersey, Galette attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he played three seasons for the Owls. While in the City of Brotherly Love, he received honorable mention on the 2006 Sporting News Freshman All-American team as a linebacker.
He finished his college career at Stillman College, a division two school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he was named to the all-SIAC first team.