NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell praised former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during his annual state of the league address.
Goodell Praises Kaepernick
Fox News reported that Goodell said that Kaepernick deserves “our recognition … and our appreciation” for talking about systemic racism in 2016, when he began taking a knee during the national anthem before his games in protest.
“I said very clearly back in June that we wish we had listened to our players earlier, and we had a lot of players that were coming and bringing these issues to us,” Goodell told reporters. “It didn’t start last summer; it started over two years ago and we’ve been working with the Players Coalition over that period of time.”
“Colin was one of the individuals who obviously brought a great deal of attention to this, and, for that, he deserves our recognition for that and appreciation,” he added.
Goodell Apologizes To Kaepernick
In August of last year, Goodell publicly apologized to Kaepernick in an interview.
“I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to,” Goodell said.
“We had invited him in several times to have the conversation, to have the dialogue. I wish we had the benefit of that; we never did. We would have benefited from that, absolutely.”
He also condemns racism in the tweet below from June 2020 that was released after George Floyd’s death:
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
Goodell Talks Diversity
Yahoo News reported that Goodell lamented the fact that only two minority coaches were hired by the NFL out of seven open spots.
“They’re not the outcomes we wanted, and we’re committed more than ever to make sure we do that. But we want it to be a natural process,” Goodell said.
“It’s much broader than just head coaches for us,” he continued. “But head coaches is important. And we put a lot of our policies and focus on that this year. As you know, we had two minority coaches hired this year. But it wasn’t what we expected, and it’s not what we expect going forward.”
Goodell went on to point out that there are “a lot of positives” in three new Black general managers.
“There’s a lot more diversity in the coordinator position also, and across the league,” he said. “But we’re not satisfied. And we feel like we can do better, and we’re going to.”
It’s unfortunate that everything in football now seems to be all about race. Thanks a lot, Colin Kaepernick!