Roger Goodell has said the NFL is at fault for not listening to player protests around the issue of racism.
The league Commissioner admitted that they were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier while encouraging all to speak out and protest peacefully.
Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minnesota, the United States has been awash with nationwide protests over police brutality in the country.
Various NFL players have spoken publicly around the issue with veteran quarterback Drew Brees facing backlash from his fellow players after claiming he disagreed with any protest that disrespected the American flag or the national anthem.
Brees’ comments, which he has since apologised for, seemed to be in relation to fellow quarterback Colin Kaepernick who regularly kneeled during the national anthem as a form of protest. Kaepernick’s protests were never fully addressed and the former San Francisco 49ers star soon found himself without a franchise to play for.
I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know… https://t.co/Jg36d0Ad0l
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) June 4, 2020
Goodell has now officially addressed the issue claiming that the NFL was wrong in their approach.
“It has been a difficult time for our country, in particular black people in our country,” he said on a video posted on Twitter.
“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 NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv
— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
“We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.
“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.”