NEW YORK, NY. (WLOX) - September 1st, 2016. That was the first time that Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness for racism and police brutality.
Since then, Colin has been blackballed by the league and any players that chose to kneel were fined, scolded and lost jobs for their decision.
After the recent events over the past few months, most notably the murder of George Floyd, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has admitted that the league was wrong and failed to listen to players for protesting peacefully in a video Friday.
Goodell says that the league condemn’s racism and systematic oppression of black people and wants his players to continue to speak out through protesting and even offered to participate.
“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. 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," Goodell said.
"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.”
One name Goodell did not mention in his statement is former San Francisco 49′ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. The league started requiring players to stand for the anthem in 2018. Since 2017, Kaepernick has not received another contract with an NFL team.
The video message was in response to responded to a video released Thursday night by a collection of NFL stars, including New Orleans wide receiver, Michael Thomas, Kansas City and Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, and Houston’s Deshaun Watson.
Drew Brees took to social media for a third time in two days, this time to address the President after he applauded Brees on his comments about not disrespecting the American flag and that he shouldn’t have to apologize.
After several conversations with teammates and leaders in the black community, Brees said he realized that the peaceful protests and kneeling were never about the flag and that it can no longer be used as a distraction from the real issues African Americans face every day.
Brees continued in his post by saying the problems of the black communities must be acknowledged and the white community must help to find solutions.