If you didn’t think Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had considerable influence in the NFL, then perhaps this new report might change your mind. According to The Undefeated, league executives were motivated to act quickly after seeing the reigning Super Bowl MVP denounce racism and encourage the NFL to change their stance on peaceful protests moving forward.
“Let’s put it this way: The second I saw him in that video, I knew Roger had to act quickly. Everyone, including all the owners, knows he’s the guy,” an NFL executive revealed to the publication’s Jason Reid.
Joined by fellow Chief Tyrann Mathieu and several other well-known players, the 24-year-old released a powerful video Thursday saying he would “not be silenced” by the NFL any longer.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) June 5, 2020
“We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit. So, on behalf of the National Football League, this is what we, the players, would like to hear you state: ‘We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.'”
Goodell’s Response Was Quick
No more than 24 hours following that public service announcement, Commissioner Roger Goodell responded with a video of his own. The longtime leader acknowledged their wrongdoings, vowing to allow “all players to speak out and peacefully protest” when the 101st year kicks off this fall.
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
Though poignant, many are calling on Goodell to also apologize to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was famously blackballed in 2016 for kneeling during the national anthem.
I still don’t think [the NFL has] gotten it right. Until they apologize, specifically, to Colin Kaepernick, or assign him to a team, I don’t think that they will end up on the right side of history,” New Orleans Saints safety Malcom Jenkins said Tuesday as a guest on on “CBS This Morning.”
“At the end of the day, they’ve listened to their players, they’ve donated money, they’ve created an Inspire Change platform; they’ve tried to do things up to this point. But it’s been one player in particular that they have ignored and not acknowledged, and that’s Colin Kaepernick.”
Mahomes Received High Praise From Another Super Bowl MVP
Of course, the Texas native’s actions did not go unnoticed. Doug Williams, Senior VP of Player Development with the Washington Redskins, was quick to applaud the rising star.
The Super Bowl XXII winner and MVP also tells The Undefeated:
“Let me tell you something … that [Mahomes’ involvement] was huge. We’re not talking about a 15-year veteran. We’re talking about a young man who’s not even 25. He has been the MVP of this league. He has won a Super Bowl. Just right there, he’s already made an incredible impact in this league.
“Then he goes and does this [participates in the video] at this time. With all these young people out here marching in the streets and demanding change, it’s a different time right now. You see that there are so many young people leading. It says a lot that he wanted to be involved in pushing for that change. It was very powerful.”