The statement included the words: “We were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.” And it might be the most powerful sentence ever spoken by an NFL commissioner.
On Friday, in response to a viral video put out by the New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore and other players across the league, commissioner Roger Goodell addressed his and the NFL’s commitment to condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people.
Goodell admitted the NFL was wrong to try to silence Colin Kaepernick (though he did not mention the blackballed quarterback by name) and other players who tried to peacefully protest police brutality and other injustices.
Here’s a look at the video response:
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Drew Brees’ Comments & Apology
Amid the obvious racial turmoil in the United States, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees seemed to inadvertently stoke the fire with his own insensitive remarks.
After seemingly dismissing the Black Lives Matter protests and shifting the focus to the kneeling that he incorrectly deemed to be a disrespect to the American flag and the Armed Forces, Brees received massive backlash from people around the NFL, his teammates, and fans.
Brees attempted to apologize with this Instagram post and video, but the aforementioned video from NFL players was set into motion.
Evaluating Impact of Goodell’s Message
Some will doubt the sincerity of Goodell’s message and the NFL owners’ commitment to addressing this issue. However, it could be argued that their sincerity is irrelevant. These statements, the financial investments from major organizations, and the shift in narrative associated with African Americans in this country can play a role in establishing a changed future.
This could be a future that represents equality for our children who are being raised in what could be a more hope-filled country.
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