Falcons President Rich McKay Calls Goodell’s NFL Apology ‘Impactful’

Rodger Goodell

Getty (L-R) President, CEO, and former general manager of the Atlanta Falcons Rich McKay, Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

On Friday, NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell sent out a response to the Black Lives Matter protests taking place on Nationwide in response to the murder of George Floyd.

Goodell also apologized for not listening to NFL players speaking out about racism in past seasons.

While many didn’t take Goodell’s response sincere, calling it “too late,” Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay thought it was impactful.

It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country,” 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 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 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.

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McKay Tells Why Goodell’s Response Was Impactful

McKay found that Goodell’s video was as powerful as the video the players put together because Goodell called out the mistakes the league has made over the years and that the NFL really wants to play a part in the overall solution.

“The players’ video was very impactful,” McKay told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was well done. It made a clear statement. Then I thought the league’s response was as equally impactful. It admitted some things that as a league that we didn’t get right and made some commitments going forward with real action. We are a big brand. The National Football League is a big brand. We can help be part of the solution, working on these issues. It was really good to see in my mind that the league answered the call of the players from a couple of nights earlier and came back with what I thought was a pretty strong response.”

Falcons Responded to Colin Kaepernick in 2016

People are not happy that Goodell didn’t acknowledge Colin Kaepernick in his video by saying his name.

The former 49er’s quarterback first took a knee during the National Anthem in 2016 as a peaceful protest to end police brutality.

He received a lot more backlash than he did support and eventually was released from the league. He hasn’t been picked up since and many believe that is the reason why.

In response, the Falcons created a social justice committee and locked arms during the playing of the anthem prior to kickoff.

What The League Has Learned

Many were against Kaepernick kneeling during the National Anthem because they thought it was disrespectful to the American flag and military.

McKay thinks more people have become aware that when Kaepernick took a knee, it had nothing to do with disrespecting the troops.

“Looking at it personally, all of us have to realize that you can’t get distracted by the discussion about the flag and get off the issues that Kaepernick was trying to bring awareness to, which was racial inequality and social justice,” McKay said. This is a moment in time where you can’t get distracted by side issues and that’s what happened from my perspective in the Kaepernick situation.”

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