NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has released a statement on Friday (June 5) saying that the league should have listened to its players’ concerns about racism earlier.
“It has been a difficult time for our country,” he said in the almost two-minute video. “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.”
He continued, “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,” he continued. “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.”
Fans quickly shared their thoughts about Goodell’s statement in the comments of the league’s Instagram post. Many of the comments mentioned hiring Colin Kaepernick, a former football player who was blackballed by the league for kneeling during the National Anthem. Kaep told reporters that he was protesting police brutality and racial injustice in America.
No team has offered the former 49ers star a contract since 2017 and he filed a suit against the NFL for colluding to keep him from being signed, which the league denied. In 2019, Kaep reached an undisclosed settlement with the league for the collusion suit. He still remains unsigned.
Do you believe Goodell’s statement? Check out some Twitter reactions to his video below.