NFL players around the league have joined others throughout the sports world in publicly mourning George Floyd, protesting police brutality and racial injustice and demanding change.
A handful of players addressed such issues in a video shared on Twitter Thursday night:
“A message on behalf of the nfl” pic.twitter.com/iilDpnZfyV— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) June 5, 2020
Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed his players in a video the league tweeted late Friday afternoon:
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. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
"It has been a difficult time in our country, in particular, black people in our country. 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."
One player Goodell didn't mention was former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Earlier this week, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks explained to reporters that he believes Kaepernick, who hasn't played in the league since the 2016 season, was unofficially blackballed for his silent protests of police violence and social injustice that involved the signal-caller dropping to a knee during the national anthem ahead of games.
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