NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released an 81-second video via the league's Twitter account on Friday and it was stunning. In the video, Goodell admits the NFL was wrong for not listening to league's players about the systematic oppression of black people in this country. He also encouraged "all to speak out and peacefully protest" before stating "black lives matter."
The video is below:
By endorsing peaceful protests, Goodell is essentially giving players the green light to kneel during the national anthem if they choose to do so. Remember, back in 2017 kneeling during the anthem became a huge fight between the players, owners and the league, with president Donald Trump weighing in. The kneeling protests largely went away as owners threatened players who participated. On Friday, Trump again blasted the idea of kneeling during the anthem, so it's noteworthy that Goodell endorsed peaceful protests.
Goodell has admitted the league, and its owners, were wrong. And, frankly, they were. Without saying it, the commissioner has all but endorsed the same idea Colin Kaepernick was protesting for. I don't think it's an understatement to call this a monumental shift from Goodell.
Goodell's statement came a day after a large group of players put together their own video. In it, they asked the NFL to condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people, and admit it was wrong to silence the peaceful protests and to state the NFL believes black lives matter:
To Goodell's credit, he stepped up to the plate.
If the league follows through with actions in line with the commissioner's words it would mark an enormous change in attitude. It won't change the past but it would go a long way towards healing the divisions that exist between the owners and players.