NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday the league should have listened to players earlier about racism concerns in response to NFL players calling on the league to condemn racism and support its black players. Goodell posted a video to the NFL’s social media on Friday in response to the video “Stronger Together,” which features multiple black NFL players asking the league to take a strong stance in the wake of George Floyd’s death. “We the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said. “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,” Goodell said. Notably, Goodell did not mention former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who faced a backlash from the league and others for kneeling before games while the National Anthem played to protest police brutality. No team has offered Kaepernick a contract since 2017, which many attribute to his protests. Kaepernick accused NFL team owners of colluding to keep him from being signed. The NFL denied any collusion but in 2019, they reached a settlement with Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid, who knelt with him. Goodell said he will be reaching out to players and others who have spoken out on these issues to see “how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.” It’s unclear if that includes Kaepernick. CNN has reached out to Kaepernick for comment.
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