Finally the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Apologizes for Silencing Players on Racism
The video was in response to multiple requests from players across the league to step up and not only speak out but listen to the needs of the players as well. Those players included some of the biggest names in the league from Patrick Mahomes to Deshaun Watson. The NFL as Goodell said, wouldn't be what it is today without black players and they need to start being treated equally on and off the field. This comes on the same week as one of the NFL's top players in Drew Brees found himself embroiled in controversy for "disrespecting the flag" comments and has since apologized and even gone to the extent of responding to President Donald Trump on the topic.
Many see this statement as long overdue from the NFL Commissioner and although that is 100% true, one has to start somewhere on the path to change, and hopefully, this is that moment for Goodell and the league.
Time will tell if this statement turns into real change and if the league will continue to stand up for players who most likely will be peacefully protesting prior to, during, and after games this fall.
If that support does materialize and doesn't cave to out of touch criticism, this may have some legs in regards to actual change.
If not, the NFL will find itself not only in a PR nightmare but it will have a mutiny from within as I assume that players will be at a breaking point if they are lied to on this topic.
Some will argue that the league saw a dip in ratings in 2017 and that will happen again if they allow players to protest including during the National Anthem.
However, even though the NFL saw a slight decline in viewership, they still held 20 of the top 30 viewed events in the United States on television that year and saw revenue skyrocket along with huge new long term corporate deals with Pizza Hut and Verizon during that season.
So the idea that NFL would lose out long term because of players be afforded the right to protest on company time is misguided.
The NFL season is set to begin on Thursday, September 10, with the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the Houston Texans with the two aforementioned QB's in Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes featured front and center.