NFL Commissioner Goodell needs to apologize to Colin Kaepernick (Letters)

Wednesday, 10 Jun, 2020

Kaepernick and others say that kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner is meant to shine a spotlight on injustices against people of color in the U.S.

President Trump appeared to have pledged a top political ally that he would not buy tickets to National Football League games. Seahawks Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon believes Kaepernick fits Seattle's offense, and coach Pete Carroll recently lauded Kap's protest, despite reportedly postponing a workout over two years ago because Kaepernick wouldn't commit to no longer kneeling during anthem. That was a reference to certain teams prohibiting players from kneeling during the national anthem.

The league complied on Friday with a statement from commissioner Roger Goodell, who stated that without black players there would be no National Football League.

Now remember, this was against the backdrop of the divisive 2016 presidential election.

Trump took aim at Brees later, saying on Twitter: "I am a big fan of Drew Brees".

"I don't know what everybody's going to do and how they're going to do it, but it's calling for people to understand what's really going on". OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high.

Ever since the Social Justice Awareness Initiative, Trump has been a vocal critic for kneeling during the anthem, arguing that it is an insult to the American flag and a loss of American lives lost during the war.

"Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag". It has never been.

The NFL may be the most prominent, but is by no means the only USA sport facing looming decisions about the most tetchy of nationalist topics. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform.

Some in the USA media have even raised the prospect that the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner should be temporarily dropped before matches, until the league and the nation learns its lesson over racism. If not now, then when?

"We've got to put the effort in as a group collectively". The black community can not do it alone.

Brees apologized in an Instagram post following criticism, and later used his social media platform to speak directly to the president. "I love America. I love people". Mr. Kaepernick and the league later reached a confidential financial settlement, but the talented quarterback has not found employment with any NFL team.

While not the sole factor, the height of the player protests coincided with the league's average TV audiences falling 8% and 10% during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, respectively, bottoming out to under 15 million viewers per game.