NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has come forward to say the league was wrong for “not listening” to players’ concerns regarding racial inequality.
In a new statement voicing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, Goodell said Friday via video message, “It has been a difficult time for our country, in particular Black people in our country. 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,” he continued. 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.
The issue of racism within the NFL garnered renewed exposure when in 2016, Colin Kaepernick protested against police brutality by kneeling when the national anthem played during games. After being unable to sign with a new team the following year, Kaepernick filed a collusion complaint against NFL owners. The complaint was privately settled in 2019.