Roger Goodell Admits NFL ‘Wrong for Not Listening’ to Players: We ‘Encourage All to Speak Out and Peacefully Protest’

 

NFL Comissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement showing support for players protesting and admitting the league was wrong after a video from players with a message to the league.

That video featured the voices of many players — including Patrick Mahomes, DeAndre Hopkins, and more — all saying “Black Lives Matter” and asking that the league state unequivocally: “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.”

The NFL Twitter account posted the video Friday night with the message “Players, we hear you. #StrongerTogether”

That was followed up with a video of Goodell saying, “It has been a difficult time for our country, in particular, black people in our country.”

And this is what Goodell himself had to say:

“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.”

“We are listening, I am listening,” Goodell continued, “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.”

After putting out a statement on social media last week, the NFL received some blowback, particularly on the issue of Colin Kaepernick. Jemele Hill said on CNN this week, “We saw them take away Colin Kaepernick’s career for protesting peacefully the types of incidents we’ve seen from Ahmaud Arbery to Breonna Taylor to now George Floyd… It just kind of brings to light just the utter hypocrisy of this league. You can’t be fighting for social justice, allegedly, on one end, but then on the other end be willing to take away a man’s career for speaking out for people who have been brutalized.”

Just this week Drew Brees apologized after making comments opposing kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

Goodell’s message comes on the heels of President Donald Trump/s tweets Friday defending Brees’ initial comments and declaring “NO KNEELING!”

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac