Four years after Colin Kaepernick sacrificed his career to make a statement about police brutality, the NFL is finally getting behind the protest and admitting they made a mistake. In a Twitter post, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admits that the NFL got it wrong.
“We the National Football League admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier,” Goodell says in the video. Goodell never mentions Colin Kaepernick by name even though he was the pioneer of the kneeling protests.
The NFL struggled to properly respond to the NFL protests that at one point were league-wide. In 2018, the NFL with the support of team owners tried to ban kneeling during the National Anthem. “We want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” Goodell said at the time.”We want people to stand.”
The Players’ Coalition led by former Philadelphia Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins reached a $100 million agreement with league owners in 2017 to donate to social justice organizations. Former 49ers safety Eric Reid who was one of the first to protest with Kaep left the Players Coalition prior to the $100 million agreement out of frustration that Kaepernick was not included in the negotiations.
The NFL attempted to switch gears last year by partnering with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to “amplify” social justice initiatives. The league also organized a workout for Kaepernick, that the former 49ers Quarterback called a PR stunt that was orchestrated in the late part of the NFL season.
“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 said.