Goodell posted a video on the league’s social media on Friday in response to the video “Stronger Together”, which includes many of the league’s most famous players who are asking the university to take a strong stance following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic suppression of blacks,” said Goodell. “We, the National Football League, admit that we were wrong not to hear from the NFL players earlier and we encourage everyone to speak out and protest peacefully,” said Goodell.
Judel, the former San Francisco midfielder 49ers, did not mention Colin Kaybernick, who faced a backlash from the league and others due to kneel before matches while playing the national anthem to protest police brutality.
Goodell said he will communicate with players and others who have spoken about these issues to find out “how can we move and move forward to a better, more united family.” It is unclear whether this includes Kaepernick. CNN contacted Kaepernick to comment.
“Without black players, there will be no national football association,” said Goodell. “The protests across the country are a symbol of centuries of silence, inequality and persecution of black players, coaches, fans and employees.”
In the video, the players say: “So on behalf of the National Football League, this is what we want the players to hear. We, the National Football League, condemn racism and systematic oppression of blacks. We, the National Football League, admit wrongly to silence our players from protest Peaceful. We, the National Football League, believe black lives are important. “
Goodell’s response comes after nearly a year of partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. The partnership established the Responsibility Program, an initiative that provides educational scholarships to families affected by injustice through the United States. The program created several public service announcements that released one of which featured Meek Mill and Dreamchasers.
A spokesman for NFL’s Inspire Change Program told CNN that the Legacy Grant Program was recently launched and that three grants have already been awarded to families of victims of police brutality: Botham Jean, Antwon Rose II and Danroy “DJ” Henry.
Goodle’s comments followed a statement from New Orleans midfielder Santo Drew Press, who said earlier this week that he “will never agree with anyone who respects science.” Press made the comment when asked about his opinion of players kneeling to protest police brutality as soon as the National Football League season begins this fall.
Faith Karimi from CNN contributed to this report.