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The video statement by Roger Goodell on Friday afternoon – where he admits that the league was wrong not to have listened to the players who demonstrated peacefully to raise awareness of police brutality and violence against the black community – represents a significant change. But that is not enough.
The statement comes a day after many NFL stars, led by Saquon Barkley, recorded a video telling the NFL that they wanted to hear him condemn systematic racism and claim that Black Lives Matter.
Although Goodell offers condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others, he never mentions the player who tried to save them.
Here’s what Goodell should have said:
We, the NFL, were wrong not to listen to Colin Kaepernick. We were wrong not to understand or appreciate the eloquence of his kneeling, the importance of his peaceful protest. We were wrong to try to silence him and to bow to President Trump’s pressure to “get this son of a bitch out of the field.”
We were wrong to be complicit in suppressing the message that Black Lives Matter and that police brutality should not be accepted.
And it was unreasonable to expect Colin to sign a waiver so broad that we could have used it to dismiss the charges of collusion that you could have brought against us.
We were wrong to deprive you of your livelihood. And deprive our fans of your talent.
We were wrong not to treat you with respect.
We were wrong not to understand that you are trying to save the lives of black men and women across the country.
We were wrong not to appreciate the leadership you have shown. We should have celebrated you.
We were wrong not to do it.
We were wrong to think of how your protest would impact our results and not how it would impact our communities.
We were wrong not to let you tell us about our prejudices and our failures.
We were wrong not to allow you and to support you.
We were wrong.