NFL On Kneeling Players' Protests: 'We Were Wrong,' Commissioner Says
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday the NFL admits that "we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest."
The statement, made in a video over Twitter, comes a day after nearly 20 players called on the NFL to take a stronger stance amid a nationwide protest of police brutality against black people.
"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," the NFL said.
It wasn't that long ago that this issue was debated hotly here and across the nation.
It looks like the tide of public opinion is turning.
20 NFL players may have changed their mind, but I haven't. That Colin Kapernick chose to use someone else's venue to intentionally exhibit disrespect for the flag of the United States, and thereby the country as a method of gaining media attention is not something I support. Nor do I think that we will find that the tide of public opinion is turning whether the NFL makes such actions common or not - the people that were offended by his intentionally offensive action are still offended. Those that chose to accept his offense as irrelevant in his greater message are not.
It is beyond my understanding that burning cities would change that opinion.
You really think that burning cities is what changed that opinion?
Did you forget about the murder of George Floyd, caught on camera, in broad daylight, with a crowd of onlookers begging the murderer to stop, while Mr. Floyd cried for his dead mama?
Did you forget about that?
And you're offended by a quiet, kneeling protest.
While I appreciate Goodell's words, but the problem is we all know he doesn't mean it. Let's get real. The NFL is only doing this as a PR movie, and Goodell is trying to save his own ass. I don't give a rat's ass what he says, Goodell doesn't care about anyone but himself and his family, as he sure as hell does NOT give a rat's ass about the players. If he did, then he wouldn't have kept pestering the NFL players union to agree to extend the season to 17 games versus it's usual 16 games fully knowing how increasing games would increase the odds of his players getting hurt. And if he did care about players, then he wouldn't have worked with the rest of the owners and the NFL to try to cover up concussions in the NFL for the longest time.
I'm sorry but this is just a PR move as far as I'm concerned, so fuck him.
Welllll . . . I wouldn't be so hard on Goodell. Because he is just a part of the rest of your comment that I agree with.
The NFL statement is just topical words. Had public sentiment gone the other way the NFL wouldn't have said beans.
Goodall is just the mouthpiece, (in my opinion of course). If you want to see the true sentiment of the NFL, then watch the teams scamble to sign Kapernick.
I doubt any NFL team will sign him. It's a shame the XFL is no longer in business, as i feel like him signing with an XFL team would be great for all parties involved. the XFL would finally have a bonafide star of their league, and they promote themselves as being the anti establishment football league while making the NFL seem like the establishment. Similar to how Sega used to down play Mario a lot when they were promoting both Sonic and Sega Genesis, when that initially launched decades ago.
"Had public sentiment gone the other way the NFL wouldn't have said beans."
That's what I mean when I say this is how change happens. Public sentiment has turned, the people are driving change. Sincere or not, those who hold the power eventually listen because, ultimately, the people own the true power. In my opinion, of course.
Edut: An opinion based on what I have learned from those who spent their lives studying social change.
Yes, that is how change happens—a massive change in public opinion.
This issue though, begs the question of whether it was a massive' change in public opinion or simply an acquiescence to an extremely vocal media moment?
Obviously. I am extremely cynical of the NFL's 'change of heart'.
Agreed, P.P. Even if we must think in truly capitalist terms, the move by the NFL Commissioner was wise. After all, they know who plays the sport, who will be playing the sport, and where the revenue comes from.
On the historic side, burning cities actually are indicative of burning hearts. A hurt heart, a sense of betrayal of values, is worth dying for. This is part of the American experiment, exemplified in the American Revolution. What good is any symbol if it is a mockery of the principles it's supposed to represent?
What conservatives fail to recognize is that I don't care about respecting a piece of cloth while the values that that piece of cloth is supposed to represent is, in reality, substantially ignored.
Then maybe he should have burned the flag in front of the police station. I've never figured out why the National Anthem is played before a sporting event anyway. I also can't figure out why sometimes a prayer is said before a sporting event. As if God cares who wins what must be a foolish endeavor in his sight.
BTW, I am not a conservative.
I really do not mind playing the national anthem or even reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in a voluntary setting. It is only when people wrap themselves in the flag as a cover for bigotry, censorship and injustice, will I take issue.
Looking at the Evangelical Right and its support of its "dirty messiah" on earth, it has me wondering about the credibility of man and his religion.
Ah! But Christ from a religious point wasn't flawed. It's when you throw in human flawed interpretation that the words of the Gospel gets smashed. I watched on national TV, on a famous psychologist's show, a racist declared a person cannot be a pastor if he is Black. (Perhaps, he never knew Egypt, the home turf of Moses was in Africa), but bigotry isn't about logic - it's about the spiritual illness of racism.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Christ was a flawless example. The problem is with man and how he distorts an otherwise message and messenger.
I have come to the conclusion when it comes to this issue, people are best to do their own thinking.
It's because the USA military spends billions of dollars in advertising before most sporting events, as sort of a recruitment ad for the military. That's why. And when Kap did that, Goodell wasn't too happy because he probably felt at the time Kap was going to cost the NFL one of their more lucrative sponsors; hence another reason why I wouldn't take Goodell's words to heart. He only cares about making money for the NFL. And I'm willing to bet behind closed doors, he probably cares less about the George Floyd murder than almost anyone else out there. I hate saying that, but I'm just telling it like it is.
I hear you. I personally do not feel that quietly kneeling in protest is disrespectful to the flag or anyone or anything. Rather, I see it as a quiet, respectful way to express discontent with actions that run counter to the equality and freedom that we, as a nation, have always said we stand for. To me, patriotism means loving your country enough to correct its wrongs. Free speech is fundamental to our nation's identity. Kaepernick did it the right way, in my opinion.
Good point, Kaepernick was reverent in taking his stand. But, that still was not enough for the "Dark Side"
I personally don't have a problem with Kaepernick protesting peacefully because that's his constitutional right to do so. And it would be hypocritical for any of us on this site to fault him for using free speech to voice his concerns. My only issue with his protests were I felt they could've been more direct.
The problem with Kap's protests wasn't the message, nor the protests themselves, but the fact that he chose to do it in a way that allowed a lot of conservatives to spin the narrative to be something else entirely than what it actually was. think about it. When Kap started kneeling, did that even raise more attention to the issue of police brutality? No it didn't because the media was spinning it saying how it was more about Kap's alleged disrespect for the flag instead of the message at hand; hence he could've made his protest a bit more direct if you want me to be honest. However, I have no issues with him protesting peacefully in general but just throwing my two cents.
I am a conservative, as you may have guessed. Your statement --- "I don't care about respecting a piece of cloth while the values that that piece of cloth is supposed to represent is, in reality, substantially ignored."
This is a simple honest statement that holds so much common sense. I don't think I have ever heard anyone come so close to putting a finger on the problem of why some don't respect the flag.
So, the subject of this thread is how change happens. Keeping with the simple honesty you used with providing your feeling about the flag if you feel comfortable doing so, I would appreciate you answer a couple of questions.
Do you feel the current protest will work to make things better for the symptomatic race relations? Will they prove to be any different than those that came before them?
It must be encouraging to see so many hit the streets. But, after they all go home, can you really say to yourself "This is how change happens"?
Not being a black person I have no way of answering these questions, I would not presume I would even have the right to answer these questions.
I am not going to put my two cents in on how change happens. I hope to learn not to teach.
I have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and I will always respect the flag of The United States, my only home.
But, that does not mean that I am going to go for the "love it or leave it" attitude. While I may shirk at that form of protest, I must allows others their right to express their dismay in this manner as part of the 1st Amendment.
While, the protests may or may not make things better for race relations, the issue is education as to the problems that revealed brutal and repressive techniques employed that may well be beyond the experience and consciousness of many people. There can now be no excuse for blissful ignorance as to the nature of the problem, and that is a leap forward. The cell phone camera may well rank with Guntenburg's printing press as a fundamental invention.
If the protests put pressure on municipal governments to reform how the police do their jobs, this is a gain.
You ask a good question, "what happens when it is all over"?
There was substantial participation by those that were not African American. While it may be a flash in the pan for some, others may take home a new understanding and a different attitude as a result that may manifest itself politically. Everything has a beginning, a fuse that has to be lit to take the average Joe away from his or her complacency, to show a side of America they would not see while taking the kids to soccer practice.
I appreciate anyone who seriously takes an attitude of putting oneself in the other fellow's shoes. I lived in rural Montana for 3 years during the Eighties, as the only Black for miles around and I had people ask me why Michael Jackson wore the sequined glove, as if I were his personal valet. It is was all good though for rather than having preconceived bigoted attitudes, they were there to learn that I too had to work, eat, etc. and I was no different from them in the most fundamental of aspects.
Yes, this recent protest should get the attention of the politicians, and that can't be all bad. Plus, as you said some may go home and think it a flash in the pan experience. But, many more might just realize they can make a difference politically and also work to educate others in their communities as well as their friends and families. In my view, a lot can be done in one's home to sew the seeds for change.
These changes will come slowly, not in a storm of everything is right immediately. Truthfully, even into the late 1970s, states in the South still held two schools for the blind and deaf, one for Black children and one for White children. (I know, a separate school for children who are blind based on race sounds wasteful and stupid today, but that's what was true.) My point is: change will come slowly, but we should always keep our eyes and ears focused on making sure change does occur.
Agree with GA on this one. It does seem akin to the American plea bargain system way of getting confessions. Unfortunately, too many of them are non-genuine. I haven't been commenting on much of anything politically lately as I've watched with bewilderment, so much of the left becoming exactly what they claim to hate in Trump supporters.
"I haven't been commenting on much of anything politically lately as I've watched with bewilderment, so much of the left becoming exactly what they claim to hate in Trump supporters."
I know what you mean. I don't refrain from participating, but I do try to be selective about the discussions I join. Also, I must be a bit more cynical than you in that I have seen that mentioned "Left" behavior from the beginning. *Just as I have seen the "Right" do it when it is their turn in the barrel.
So, I agree with you that there is pandering and non-genuine public features of support from politicians, other public figures, and large companies. But, isn't that always the case when public sentiment about a major social issue begins to swing another way? Yes, the genuineness of the, sentiment matters in a human sense, but if the end result is more equal treatment, or justice for wrongdoings that used to be ignored, it better oversight, then it is a good thing in my opinion.
I wouldn't argue that 80% number, I think most sensible Americans agree with the issue of the tragedy—bad policing by some bad policemen, and the appearance of it being disproportionally directed at Black folks. (in most cases involving bad policemen I think that appearance is a reality because I think their bad policing is due to a negative mindset towards minorities.
However, I do not think it is a systemic problem throughout our police forces and I do not agree with the media-presented mantras of the protests.
Hmm. Systemic racism is a complex topic. I believe it exists throughout the justice system, not just in the police. I would be interested in hearing how you have concluded it is not a systemic problem in the police forces, but realize it is a big topic and wouldn't blame you if you don't want to get into it .
jackclee gave a good example of what one view of "systemic" might be.
He gave the example of real estate and banking Redlining. The practice was almost standardized, and it was active throughout all, (okay, almost all), activities in those two industries. That is a fair explanation of what I would see as systemic.
Conversely, our law enforcement agencies, (as a rule), have no such standardized practices or institutional mindsets of a similar nature. Instead, what they have is officers doing their job badly, officers that shouldn't be officers, and officers that are outright racist bigots. But I don't see that as systemic because you have that in every group human endeavor.
It is appearance vs. numbers. I tossed numbers at you once before, but it wasn't to deny the existence of a problem, it was to frame the proportion of the problem. Those numbers were 54 million interactions vs. 2 million uses of force vs. a dozen excessive force uses. Yet that dozen gets the 2 million labeled as a systemic problem of police brutality. And the high visibility of the subset of police-on-black excessive force encounters earns those agencies the label of systemic racism.
Look more locally at the Minneapolis PD. Google says they have 800 officers. Do you think these one-time, (hopefully, fingers crossed), actions of three, (the ones in physical contact with Floyd), indicate a systemic police brutality problem among most officers in that PD? *Caveat: use this as an illustrative example—that PD may very well have such a problem if investigated, but my point is based on the label of "systemic" based on the Floyd tragedy.
And just imagine how much further I could go with this line of thought if the proportion of police/black contacts/crimes vs police/white contacts/crimes were considered. I wonder what the ratio is for police responding to a crime and finding a black vs. white perpetrator? ;-)
It seems you have your own definition of systemic racism that differs from my understanding. I'm not sure I'm up to the task of ensuring that we are starting from the same understanding, as I feel that you are simply rejecting how it has been defined by those who identify its existence.
You might be right, (about my rejection), so we should probably just move on. Nothing to see here.
If we can't agree on what systemic means there is little chance we will agree on any aspects of whether it is a problem or not.
But, what the hell. Just for giggles and grins, what does "systemic" mean to you—relative to PD brutality and racism of course?
Well, it's not what I think it means, it's what those who spend their working lives studying racism in general and police brutality in particular think it means.
Nope, you can't use that dodge. Does your statement mean you think it means what they say it means?
If so, who are they and what do they say systemic means?
My statement means that I do find the argument that systemic racism exists in the criminal justice system, from police to courts to incarceration, to be compelling and substantiated by the evidence. The example you gave of the practice of redlining in housing seems to indicate that you believe discrimination must be codified into the system in order to meet the definition of "systemic." Before I continue, is that a correct interpretation?
No, it isn't right. Codified had nothing to do with my thoughts. I offered them as examples of prevalence and saturation. That is "systematic" to me.
Okay, so for you to consider racism to be "systemic"it must be prevalent throughout the system? Does that mean that, if, say, black children are three tines mire likely to be suspended than white students for the same offense,, you do not consider that to be a "systemic" problem? Or, you would consider systemic only if it reached a certain threshold?
Anyway, with you, I always make the assumption that you are a learned man and that you have spent considerable time reading and attempting to understand the concept, but have rejected it.
I have done the same and believe it is real.
https://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2016 … sm-is-real
If you don't want to read this you can at least salivate over the ice cream.
I always follow links of comments I respond to. And I followed yours.
*I do like ice cream, but Ben & Jerry's isn't that special to me. ;-)
First, let's remember the topic of our discussion to this point. It has been about systemic racism, (or brutality), in our law enforcement agencies. I haven't addressed systemic anything other than that. Contrarily, I addressed a jackclee response that misconstrued one comment to say I didn't believe any systemic racism existed with the explicit correction that I did not believe that.
You believe systemic racism is real, and I don't disagree with that. So maybe we have been talking about two different things? Or, maybe I am trying to have my cake and eat it too by saying yes it exists but it doesn't exist here? With "here" being our law enforcement agencies.
So I have created a problem for myself. But I see my escape hatch being that the systemic racism I acknowledge is the ingrained racism of our white pysche, every white psyche. Not just the obvious racists and bigots among us.
That dog lady and bird watcher story is the systemic racism I am talking about. The one that I agree is systemic throughout our society.
However, I think that racism is easily, (okay, it may not be easy because it does take concious effort, but it is doable), consciously combated. And I think the majority of our law enforcement folks do just that on a daily basis. Letting 4 or even 400 bad cops taint the hundreds of thousands of good cops with the label of systemic racism or brutality is not a valid action for me.
It is that perspective that allows me to feel comfortable with my opinion. And I don't have a problem understanding that different perspectives will disagree. Fortunately for me, I think I am more right than you are. At least, relative to use-of-force contacts, law enforcement statistics say I am—I think. ;-)
I think we have come back to the start, as I respond simply that the systemic part of the problem with police brutality is that police are almost never held accountable for their crimes, even when the crimes are clearly caught on video. And those crimes are disproportionately perpetrated against black citizens.
I think that's exactly how we started out. I guess that was a waste of time. :-)
"So I have created a problem for myself. But I see my escape hatch being that the systemic racism I acknowledge is the ingrained racism of our white pysche, every white psyche. Not just the obvious racists and bigots among us."
"That dog lady bird watcher story is the systemic racism that I am talking about. The one I agree is systemic throughout society."
Now you are getting it. But, I don't want so many of you to have to carry that burden around, when you work hard not to deserve it.
We are all inculcated from youth on, we learn this from our parents either explicitly or subconsciously. The messages are universal and imbedded everywhere. I found the attitude included with "Novellas" from South America as to the preference for whiter skin tones in the actors and actresses, while in Spanish speaking Panama. I read about bleaching cremes among the ladies of Bollywood. That is why Ronald Reagan could refer to Welfare Queens and Bucks, the late George HW Bush could highlight a revolving turnstile for the "scary" black male prisoner with both of these men well aware of what buttons they would automatically push to goad the electorate.
After all of the conquests and occupations came and went, this attitude was something that the conquistadors left and allowed to spread that I wished that they had taken with them.
Allow me to revert to a Star Trek anology that came to mind while writing this, there was a specific episode in the Original Series that dealt with 4 members of the Enterprise crew sent to a planet or so they thought by a race of beings as punishment for trespassing in their region of space.
McCoy, Scotty, Checkov, Spock and Captain Kirk. The scenario was not physical but was purely a creation of their minds with the scene being 1881 Tombstone with the gunfight between Earps and the Statons at OK corral. The crew were in fact playing the bad guys that history records as decimated by the Earps.
These guys were going to face the Earps, expert gunfighters for execution.
When the final showdown came, Spock made had a revelation that this was all a large hallucination and that if they all believed that totally then the guns were ineffective and the bullets could not kill. McCoy in his usual bluster said "Spock, we don't have that clockwork ticker of yours, there would always be some doubt." Spock says, " the slightest doubt would be enough to kill you, Doctor". Spock proceeded to administer his mind meld thing to do for those human minds what they could not do for themselves.
(Star Trek, Original Series "Spectre of the Gun")
So, there is no one around to do mind melds to counteract such deeply socialized attitudes and beliefs, here and now. As mentioned earlier, future generations may see all this as just as ridiculous as we see the Salem Witchcraft trials, today. This problem can't really be washed off, but must wear off and that will take time.
I just take issue with those that are determined to deny the obvious.
I do not approved of Willy nilly disbanding of police department, but serious reforms in how they conduct themselves, is warranted at the very least.
Aha! Another Spock enthusiast. I agree with your comment bud. We may not be there yet, but I too think that we are at least making the effort of the journey.
Ken recently posted a video about ridiculous 911 calls that I think clearly illustrates there are a lot of yahoos and idiots among us. And that thought includes racists and bigots that we can only hope aren't contributing to the gene pool.
But as bad as it is for minorities now, at least I see the hope of individual progress.
yes, while Kirk was "Making out" with anything that moved throughout the Galaxy, Spock had always been the voice of reason. And reason wins out most of the time.
What we need is a "War of the Worlds" or "Independence Day" scenario, where we all either resolve our squabbles and work together or face annihilation as a species. Why can't I have a President like the fellow in "Independence Day" (1996)?
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