NFL commissioner Roger Goodell senses a legitimate issue in the league — and it isn’t police brutality.
“We live in a country that can feel very divided,” Goodell said in a memo to all 32 teams, according to nfl.com. “Sports, and especially the NFL, brings people together and lets them set aside those divisions, at least for a few hours. The current dispute over the national anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.”
Goodell later wrote that while he acknowledges and respects the opinions of players protesting social injustices, the anthem isn’t the right time or platform to do so.
“We need to move past this controversy,” Goodell said in the memo, in regard to national anthem protests. “We have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week’s league meeting. This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country. … Additionally, we will continue the unprecedented dialogue with our players.”
Many of the league’s players aren’t buying the commissioner’s reasoning.
Hey @nflcommish can u please allow some minority players and military vets into this meeting with the owners! Just to add Perspective thanks
— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) October 10, 2017
Colin Kaepernick then retweeted this post from political reporter Jordan Chariton.
NFL commissioner wants to “move past this controversy”—100s of years of slavery, violence, and oppression isn’t a controversy. It’s America
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) October 10, 2017
In the midst of celebrities and players reacting to Goodell’s memo, business mogul Sean Combs said that he wants to start his own league.
Combs would follow the pattern of fellow hip-hop business moguls like Ice Cube and Master P beginning their own professional sports leagues, however, Combs would be the first prominent public figure to begin his own football league.
Many conservative fans have followed the lead of the 45th president of the United States in boycotting the NFL.
Many pro-Black fans decided to boycott the NFL before the season even started in support of current free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.