Colin Kaepernick hasn't played a football game since the 2016 season, and yet he is now America's most influential sports figure.
The 57-year-old Jordan, a six-time National Basketball Association champion with the Chicago Bulls, has been back in the headlines in recent weeks following the hugely popular documentary series "The Last Dance" about his final championship season.
George Floyd's death, which ignited nationwide protests over racial injustice and police brutality, awakened many people to the root of the issues that led to Kaepernick's peaceful demonstration - an expression meant to raise awareness of such issues, not demean the flag or the anthem. We, the National Football League, believe that Black Lives Matter.
Goodell also spoke after a group of prominent NFL players released a video Thursday night, calling for the league to express much of what Goodell expressed Friday.
The statement was a response to quarterback Drew Brees, who apologised this week for equating the kneeling protest with disrespecting the U.S. flag. Mahomes, Mathieu and several other players asked the National Football League to clearly state its condemnation of racism and its support for peaceful protest - peaceful protest that kept former San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick from employment.
Kaepernick accused the league of conspiring with teams to shut him out and filed a collusion grievance against the NFL which was eventually settled however, the terms of the settlement were undisclosed.
The killing sparked widespread protests across the United States and around the world and Kaepernick's kneeling pose has been widely adopted by the demonstrators.
However, his protest has continued, with many involved in this week's protests, as well as some police officers, dropping to one knee in solidarity.
You can not tell me that Colin Kaepernick was not good enough to make an National Football League roster for the past 3 seasons after throwing tossing 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions during the 2016 season with the San Francisco 49ers.
Brees addressed Trump directly in a contrite and heartfelt statement, and at that point the National Football League had seen enough.
In 2018, the league briefly implemented a policy requiring players to stand during the national anthem.
For some, Goodell's admission felt bittersweet, offering both progress and a reminder that the protests of Kaepernick and other players fell on unreceptive ears.
"You literally still don't understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee??"
But it was what went unsaid that people online seized upon.
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