Roger Goodell: We admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier

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NFL players called out the league’s initial statement from Roger Goodell, which was released Saturday. Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks was the most pointed, saying, “Your statement said nothing.”

The NFL tried again Thursday, saying, “We know that we can and need to do more.”

But a video from some black NFL stars on Thursday, demanding clear messages from the league, showed the NFL it had to do more now.

The NFL released a video from Goodell on Friday night shortly after the league replied to the video on social media, retweeting with the message, “Players, we hear you.”

“It has been a difficult time for our country, in particular, black people in our country,” Goodell said. “First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the families who have endured police brutality. 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 National Football League, believe black lives matter.

“I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country. 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.”

59 responses to “Roger Goodell: We admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier

  1. You do realize that you just opened up a lawsuit for the NFL and every owner by Kaepernick no ,you do realize that right Rodger ?

  2. It amazes me when smart people fall for propaganda over facts unless the message is just to try to appease without change.

  3. Damn. Never heard Roger say “we were wrong.” Not for inflate-gate or any of the many league office debacles. Kudos to him that. A shame that it’s too little too late for Colin, one of the most dynamic comets in league history.

  4. There seems to be a logical fallacy going around, that because Kaepernick and the players make it clear as to what they are protesting about, it is NOT offensive or disrespectful to the flag.

    The thing they don’t understand: you do not decide or demand what is offensive or not to somebody. You can punch me in the face and claim it’s an act of protesting for a good cause, but you do NOT get to tell me that it doesn’t hurt.

    Most fans simply find it disrespectful, whatever the intent. The ratings plummet in 2017 confirmed this, and I expect the same in 2020.

  5. Grow up Roger. A majority of us- black, white, Asian, Hispanic, all of us don’t buy a single thing you’re saying

  6. Gotta admit, the “we were wrong” part got me. Will he now tell Trump to p*ss off about kneeling?

  7. Too little, too late. Kaepernick did this before people died. Few were listening and the league hit him hard. They broke his career for his principles. Now people see he was right, but he can’t come back to play after 4 years. Pity.

  8. what the heck is this goodell talking about, NFL gave millions to Malcolm Jenkins foundation for advertisement on NFL broadcast, whatever you position is, don’t lie about it and say you should have listen, Goodell is the worst

  9. Wow. An admission of wrongness. Must’ve figured it was gonna cost em some money.

  10. We’ve been without sports for 4 months. I’m actually enjoying the extra time. Been spending time doing things around the house and working extra hours. Now they’re back and lecturing me and everyone else who haven’t done a darn thing wrong. Makes me wonder if I should stop obsessing over these ungrateful people making millions playing a game.

  11. It’s a good start. Too late for Colin, George Floyd and many others. Josh Allen, Jake Fromm and Drew Brees show there is still alot of work to be done.

  12. Fat Don, the wannabe tough guy, warrior/priest will have a problem with this come the fall. Hopefully, the NFL and him will square off only for two months and then bye, bye clown. He can retreat to his non-White House fortified bunker, which really should be a prison cell.

  13. I guess the PC thing to do is to give in and provide the canned result. Otherwise you’re wrong and will be put on the spot. Pretty sad. I’m not denying the cause, but to be forced to provide this answer, or else be publicly blasted, is a shame. Sometimes the best thing to do is to just shut up and be quiet.

    Why do people value such a canned, predictable response?

  14. Surely we call out the NFL’s bs (as well as other corporations that use social trends to increase their customer base) and SIMULTANEOUSLY condemn police brutality and racism and try to fight for change.

  15. Lines have been drawn. And the NFL has chosen the side of justice. I commend Goodell for taking a stand.

  16. I won’t be watching any NFL games this year. I’m done. When a man such as Drew Brees states an opinion and gets raked over the coals for what he believes in, but yet NFL football players can abuse women, hold people up at gun point and steal, carry guns to an airport etc…I’m just done. The hypocrisy is so blatant its unimaginable. I hate the Saints and the bounty gate against the Vikes in 2009, but that man has my respect because he has done a lot for the city of New Orleans. What he said was NOT racist it was his opinion, it not like he dropped a bunch of N bombs.

    But yet its okay for Kaep to kneel, see the hypocrisy? People want equality but yet they keep segregating themselves by there actions. I’m done no more NFL for me. Drew Brees is a hero…….

  17. apologizing is the slipperiest slope known to man. Nothing will ever be sufficient

  18. The problem isn’t going to be fixed by the NFL. Millions voted for Trump knowing he was a racist. Lack of education is the root of this evil. Force politicians to stop being afraid of educated minds rejecting their policies. If they were pushing good things, they’d darn sure want everyone to be smart enough to realize it. A politician cutting education is a big red flag. Can the NFL start making public statements naming the politicians who are against education? That would be a good start. If their argument is that smart people are really dumb, and dumb people are actually the smart ones, we’re in trouble. Many of us have already fallen for this.

  19. If you think ratings will go down in 2020 due to Goodell admitting his mistake on this protest, you are delusional. We haven’t had sports in 3 months! Ratings will be through the roof. Come to think of it, the cynic in me believes that’s the reason for the admission. There won’t be any repercussions.

  20. The NFL needs to add a second anthem before each game to honor, in some way, the Black Lives Matter movement and ask everyone in the stadium to stand for both anthems. If everyone stands for the Black Lives Matter Anthem, then everyone stands for the National Anthem.
    A way to unite everyone.

  21. For those who still do not get it. No problem. You are on the wrong side of history just like those who condemned Ali. This has never been about the flag & only those who will not acknowledge the blatant mistreatment of Black people by the police have that thought. Black people fought & DIED for this country even when this country discriminated against them. So the players have finally decided to unify & those against social justice are upset.. Oh Well get over it. As long as the black players run, jump & shut you are just fine.. Sorry it is a new day!

  22. Look forward to how the NFL turns around and tries to sell this nonsense to those who would normally travel for their games.

    Sorry, but simple science and numbers do not justify the over reaction to one mans death. Just isnt. It was tragic, abhorrent and so on….it just doesnt justify the “fundamental transformation of America”.

    If you think so, good luck.

    Nothing worse than white guilt or being shamed into silence (Brees). Let the mob keep going til November, something says people will vote law and order as opposed to anarchy and street/vigilante justice.

  23. I’m not a vet, but my son was killed in action in 2017. While I stand for the flag to remember my son I have no issue with people who do otherwise. He certainly joined to serve the USA and preserve freedoms like the right to protest. But in battle these amazing soldiers fight for each other more than the ideals of any flag. We all have a different perspective and as long as you aren’t infringing on someone’s rights go ahead and protest. Just remember who protects that right.

  24. It’s pretty simple to judge whether people are motivated by racism when they say that they find respectful protests during the national anthem to somehow be UnAmerican. Just look and see how much time they spend complaining about the police who are attacking peaceful protests. See how much time they spend complaining about a President using his power to attack the First Amendment. Maybe there are some who are consistent, but most of them are just upset that black people aren’t content to be targeted and killed by police.

    The same for those who accused the kneelers of being anti-military. If these people also support a man who has attacked Gold Star families and mocked John McCain for being a POW — well, you can tell that these people value racism more than they do the military.

  25. You can try to equate Brees ‘opinion’ as being the same as a peaceful protest before a game. The difference is nobody Brees knows is being murdered by LEO’s as a result of his opinion. Nobody Brees knows is suffering because of his opinion.

    ALL the people of color are suffering. This isn’t their opinion, it’s their cry for help. They’ve also been crying for a VERY long time.

  26. Didn’t the NFL give money to various social justice groups in the last few years? Plus, Goodell never ended the Anthem protests. He let them go unchallenged.

  27. There seems to be a logical fallacy going around, that because Kaepernick and the players make it clear as to what they are protesting about, it is NOT offensive or disrespectful to the flag.
    The thing they don’t understand: you do not decide or demand what is offensive or not to somebody. You can punch me in the face and claim it’s an act of protesting for a good cause, but you do NOT get to tell me that it doesn’t hurt.
    ———————–
    Yea, there’s a logical fallacy alright. The logical fallacy comes from trying to equate a stranger kneeling in a football game many miles away with someone coming up and punching you in the face.

    Seriously, why does a man’s non-violent, silent protest make you so angry? It doesn’t directly affect you in any way, shape, or form. Maybe you don’t agree with it, maybe you wouldn’t do it. But your ire about it – why? I suggest your angry reaction has more to do with you than the protest itself. Think about it.

  28. Of all people, never thought it would be Roger Goodell
    saying out loud that black lives matter, and to admit
    the NFL was wrong.

    Surprised the heck out of me, but, here we are.

    I hope most owners are behind this league 180, but
    we know there are some owners who are appalled behind
    the scenes.

    Was it that powerful players’ video that changed their mind?

    Maybe there is some hope for redemption after all.

  29. Roger knows that Don is a Lame Duck and a castrated leader, people have stopped listening to him. The bigger issue is, all the cowards who played his game for so long.

  30. You’re wrong here as usual, Goodell.

    Nevermind that Kaepernick actually stated he was disrespecting the flag: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people”.

    Any act that attempts to hijack the anthem to further their own political purposes is disrespect. It doesn’t matter what action they take, kneeling, locking arms, whatever.

    The anthem is time to appreciate this country, imperfect though it may be, for the good it has brought us and for the sacrifices that made it possible.

    You can protest on your own time. But not during the anthem.

  31. Can’t wait to see what Jerrah comes up with. That “group kneel” he forced on his team last time was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen on a football field.

  32. You can punch me in the face and claim it’s an act of protesting for a good cause, but you do NOT get to tell me that it doesn’t hurt.
    ———————–
    Yea, there’s a logical fallacy alright. The logical fallacy comes from trying to equate a stranger kneeling in a football game many miles away with someone coming up and punching you in the face.

    Seriously, why does a man’s non-violent, silent protest make you so angry? It doesn’t directly affect you in any way, shape, or form. Maybe you don’t agree with it, maybe you wouldn’t do it. But your ire about it – why? I suggest your angry reaction has more to do with you than the protest itself. Think about it.
    ________
    I actually don’t give a damn about it whatsoever. The protests never bothered me in the slightest. I’m not the racist Trump worshipper you probably assume I am.

    I’m just tired of celebrities and people like you demanding that millions of Americans who DON’T agree just change their values and just stop being offended. Who are you to tell someone what’s offensive to them or not? They clearly stopped watching in 2017. If that was the objective of the protest, mission accomplished. If it wasn’t, then change the strategy. The arrogance.

  33. The murder of George Floyd was horrible and inexcusable. It is good that justice is in the process of being served for his killers.

    However, this criminal attack is the extreme exception which is proven by documented crime statistics. There simply is NO “systemic “racism” or oppression.

    That is the problem with Kaepernick’s grandstanding: he perpetuated a completely false narrative that focuses on extreme exceptions and then falsely claims they are typical. Again, statistics prove this narrative is a blatant lie.

    Thanks to our corrupt, biased media these truths are not being reported and most people are willing to remain deceived and indoctrinated. Now the NFL has become part of the insidious propaganda machine instead of critically dissecting and rejecting the false Kaepernick narrative. Truly a case of the blind leads the blind.

  34. “Didn’t the NFL give money to various social justice groups in the last few years? Plus, Goodell never ended the Anthem protests. He let them go unchallenged.”

    Goodell represents the owners. It’s not about him. His job is to make the 32 billionaires as much money as humanly possible without pissing of the labor union or the coaches and so on.

    He said this because it puts a stop to protests and kneeling and because people are so desperate for sports ratings are going to be off the charts regardless when the NFL resumes play.

    He’s trying to “unite” the NFL so that he can finally separate politics from Football.

    You know, like the way is used to be before the internet ruined everything.

  35. youcanthandlethetruth says:
    June 5, 2020 at 8:59 pm
    “The murder of George Floyd was horrible and inexcusable. It is good that justice is in the process of being served for his killers.

    However, this criminal attack is the extreme exception which is proven by documented crime statistics. There simply is NO “systemic “racism” or oppression.

    That is the problem with Kaepernick’s grandstanding: he perpetuated a completely false narrative that focuses on extreme exceptions and then falsely claims they are typical. Again, statistics prove this narrative is a blatant lie.

    Thanks to our corrupt, biased media these truths are not being reported and most people are willing to remain deceived and indoctrinated. Now the NFL has become part of the insidious propaganda machine instead of critically dissecting and rejecting the false Kaepernick narrative. Truly a case of the blind leads the blind.”

    Clearly you have never been friends with a black man. A Filipino guy I knew as a waiter was pulled over 3 times in ONE night and accused of having drugs in his backpack when they were just college books. Despite that being proved in the first encounter, they pulled him over TWO more times that same night. Just to give him a hard time.

    I can only imagine if he’d been black. Maybe he doesn’t come in to work the next day with that story?

    I can tell you I’m as white as can be, like elmer’s glue white and I’ve never been pulled over more than once in a day/evening/week. I’m fortunate to drive a nicer car and look like a standard issue white guy. I once got a warning for going 70mpg in a 45mph zone after work. Do you think I get that same warning if I’m black?

    In my neighborhood if I was black back then I would’ve gotten the “What are you doing in this area?” line of questioning.

    Instead I got a written warning. It worked too, I quit speeding after that. Every ticket before just made me more determined to speed, even had a top of the line radar detector.

    A little compassion goes a long way and so I don’t drive recklessly anymore, because of that officer.

  36. People are so dumb, all this is just vague talk to appease… means absolutely nothing.

  37. Csaba Baráth says:
    June 5, 2020 at 7:14 pm
    Too little, too late. Kaepernick did this before people died. Few were listening and the league hit him hard. They broke his career for his principles. Now people see he was right, but he can’t come back to play after 4 years. Pity.

    ——————————-

    I understand what you are saying, but MANY black people had died at the hands of the police well before Kap came along. He was just the first with the stones to put his livelihood on the line to address it.

  38. Facts indicate that police kill TWICE as many white people each year than black people. The protests are not about people dying. The looting proves what this is all about.

  39. rltw375 says:
    June 5, 2020 at 8:11 pm
    I’m not a vet, but my son was killed in action in 2017. While I stand for the flag to remember my son I have no issue with people who do otherwise. He certainly joined to serve the USA and preserve freedoms like the right to protest. But in battle these amazing soldiers fight for each other more than the ideals of any flag. We all have a different perspective and as long as you aren’t infringing on someone’s rights go ahead and protest. Just remember who protects that right.

    ——————

    Effing thank you. And thank you for your sons ultimate sacrifice. We COULD have a great nation if more people like you stood up for change. But too many people are comfortable with the way things are because they aren’t the ones at risk. I am white, but I served in the military with many people from all backgrounds. Blacks, latinos, samoans, asians. And it KILLS me to see people I care about struggling because of their race. This country can and MUST do better. If you ain’t down for change then get the f** out the way.

  40. As much as I dont want it too, sadly racism will always exist but all you can is educate as many people as you can about racial equality. People in general, need to stop committing crimes which is why alot of this stuff happens in the first place. And The cops need to protect and stop killing its citizens unless there life is in absolute danger which it was not in the floyd case. This cop should be convicted.

  41. SHAMEFUL: Roger Goodell: “We admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier”.
    ***********
    No,you were wrong for not listening Colin Kaepernick. You and the ‘owners’ did this and ruined a man’s career at the same time.

    Still won’t tell the truth.

  42. Roger Goodell is paid something like $44 million a year to solve problems for the NFL owners. He has to be one of the handful of most insincere public figures in America.

  43. This white 40+ year NFL fan says that now is the prefect time for Goodell to step down and install the first Black NFL Commissioner. Only then will the needed changes come.

  44. danicafallsinlove says:
    June 5, 2020 at 7:35 pm
    I won’t be watching any NFL games this year. I’m done. When a man such as Drew Brees states an opinion and gets raked over the coals for what he believes in, but yet NFL football players can abuse women, hold people up at gun point and steal, carry guns to an airport etc…I’m just done. The hypocrisy is so blatant its unimaginable. I hate the Saints and the bounty gate against the Vikes in 2009, but that man has my respect because he has done a lot for the city of New Orleans. What he said was NOT racist it was his opinion, it not like he dropped a bunch of N bombs.

    But yet its okay for Kaep to kneel, see the hypocrisy? People want equality but yet they keep segregating themselves by there actions. I’m done no more NFL for me. Drew Brees is a hero…….
    ————————-
    FYI, this is not the airport, you don’t have to announce your departure! Just go quietly.

  45. ABinAtown says:
    June 5, 2020 at 7:23 pm
    That’s just it. You haven’t done anything to improve the circumstances. You’ve just enjoyed the unfair advantage but it’s not your problem. I love the guilt that comes thru these messages here. “Hey, I’m no racist”. But I laugh or I’m silent when I see racist things. You’re not part of the solution. But keep telling yourself that you “earned” everything. I want everyone to have success but let’s not act like everyone has the same starting point or resources. And it’s not by those that have or lack doing. It’s because of the machine (e.g., slavery, homestead act, reconstruction racism, sharecropping, Jim Crow era, redlining, GI bill discrimination, segregation, white flight, war on drugs, etc.). Those policies or actions all devastated the black community and improved it for the white community. So if you can’t connect those dots then don’t chant USA is so great bc what have you done to make it great? Oh you’re talking about out history. Well this is part of that history too

  46. The NFL is now the NBA….and that will lose 10% viewership right off the top.

  47. Wow, lets all sit around the camp fire and sing Kumbaya My Lord wearing our NFL jerseys
    at SoFi Stadium in LA. The NFL is so hypocritical it’s not even funny.

  48. To those who are butthurt by this and now say you’re going to protest the NFL… Good riddance. We don’t need you and we’ll be so much better without you.

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