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NFL Admits ‘We Were Wrong’ About Player Protests – but Doesn’t Mention Colin Kaepernick

The Wrap Friday, 5 June 2020
NFL Admits ‘We Were Wrong’ About Player Protests – but Doesn’t Mention Colin KaepernickThe National Football League is now encouraging its players to “speak out and peacefully protest,” while admitting “we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier.”

“We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday in a video posted to the NFL’s Twitter account. “We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”

Goodell’s comments did not specifically mention the player protests of silently taking a knee during the national anthem that was started by Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 season, nor did Kapernick’s name come up at all. Kaepernick has not been signed since that 2016 season.

*Also Read:* ESPN's Maria Taylor Doesn't Buy Drew Brees' Apology: 'Shame on You' (Video)



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’s statement came two days after New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country” by kneeling, even given the nationwide protests against police brutality over the last two weeks. Brees was harshly criticized for missing the point of Kaepernick’s protest, which he has said numerous times had nothing to do with protesting the American flag or the military. Brees has since apologized multiple times.

Since Brees’ comments, multiple NFL players pressured the league to take a bolder stance on injustice, with several making a video trying to force Goodell say something.



“A message on behalf of the nfl” pic.twitter.com/iilDpnZfyV

— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) June 5, 2020



The NFL released an earlier statement over the weekend as the protests against police brutality and racial injustice intensified over the weekend. It was criticized as tone-deaf considering Kaepernick’s continued unemployment.

Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump argued, as he did in 2017, against players’ first amendment rights to protest during the national anthem, stating in all caps: “NO KNEELING.”

*Related stories from TheWrap:*

ESPN's Maria Taylor Doesn't Buy Drew Brees' Apology: 'Shame on You' (Video)

Charles Barkley Says Drew Brees 'Made a Mistake' With Anthem Kneeling Comments But Fallout Has Been 'Overkill'

Laura Ingraham Rips 'Stalinist' Criticism of Drew Brees After Telling LeBron James to 'Shut Up and Dribble' in 2018
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News video: 'We were wrong': NFL commissioner regrets stance on player protests

'We were wrong': NFL commissioner regrets stance on player protests 02:19

National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league made mistakes in not listening to players, in a video on Friday denouncing racism in the United States amid widespread protests over police brutality against black people. This report produced by Jonah Green.

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