NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shared his disdain for the National Football League’s initial reactions to Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback peacefully protested during the national anthem, according to USA Today.
Gooddell spoke with former NFL player Emmanuel Acho on a social media video series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.”
In it, Goodell was asked by Acho to publicly express his remorse and apologize to Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season.
“I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to,” Goodell said.
“What our players are doing is being mischaracterized. These are not people who are unpatriotic. They’re not disloyal.”
“They’re not against our military,” Goodell said. “What they were trying to do is exercise their right to bring attention to something that needs to get fixed. That misrepresentation of who they were and what they were doing was the thing that really gnawed at me.”
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man: The National Anthem Protest- PT. 1
NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, & I discuss Colin Kaepernick & the protests during the national anthem that polarized America. pic.twitter.com/PcL02732ys
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) August 23, 2020
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Goodell also expressed disappointment about how the league’s players’ peaceful protests were being portrayed.
Acho – who played linebacker for three seasons in the NFL – started “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis to help white people better understand the Black experience.