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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Admits League Was ‘Wrong For Not Listening’ To Players

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Patrick Mahomes II attend the world premiere event for "The Team That Wouldn't Be Here" documentary hosted by Verizon on January 31, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Verizon)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that he admits the league was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”

Goodell released the apology in a video post from the NFL’s official Twitter account on Friday, June 5.

“It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country,” Goodell said. “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. 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,” the commissioner 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.”

Goodell’s post was published one day after some of the NFL’s most prominent players, including Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, released a video asking that NFL condemn racism and racial injustice.

The players posted the video amid the nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. On May 25, Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first spoke out against racial injustice and police brutality in 2016. Kaepernick began to protest those issues by kneeling during the national anthem before the start of NFL games.

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