By: Kylan W. Watson
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally spoke about his opinion on Colin Kaepernick’s protest. It took Goodell two weeks to speak on it. During these two weeks Goodell waited, 49ers Cornerback Eric Reid and Seahawks safety Jeremy Lane decided to not stand for the national anthem. Two other Seahawks players are also weighing not standing for the anthem either this weekend.
No doubt Goodell was waiting and carefully crafting his statement as to not offend his players, the media, fans, and the black community. Goodell leads a league that is 70% black so he definitely had to be careful with whatever he said.
Goodell said, “Well my personal thoughts are… I support our players when they want to see change in society, and we don’t live in a perfect society. We live in an imperfect society. On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL. I personally believe very strongly in that. I think it’s important to have respect for our country, for our flag, for the people who make our country better; for law enforcement, and for our military who are out fighting for our freedoms and our ideals” (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/roger-goodell-weighs-in-on-colin-kaepernick-nearly-two-weeks-after-the-fact-180346435.html, 9-7-16).
A report has come out and said that from 2012 to 2015; the Department of Defense paid the NFL 6.1 million dollars for displays of patriotism. It seems for the NFL patriotism has a price.
A lot of fans, players, media, and critics were waiting for Goodell to say something about Kaepernick. A lot of people on Social Media were hoping that Goodell would suspend or fire Kaepernick. Goodell walk the line by saying he supports his players and patriotism. Goodell could definitely have said more about Kaepernick’s protest and what it represents for the NFL.
It continues to be a good week for Kaepernick he made the 49ers roster, his right to protest was endorsed by President Barack Obama, veterans of the armed forces started the #VeteransforKaepernick, and he got his first endorsement from a high-profile white athlete, Megan Rapinoe supported Kaepernick by taking a knee during the national anthem on Sunday night. Kaepernick also said that all the profits made from the sale of his jersey, will go to organizations dedicated to fighting racial inequality.
Goodell may have walked the line and stayed political, but Kaepernick has started a movement that is starting to pick up steam not only in the NFL, but now it is becoming a multi-sport protest with Rapinoe joining in. These athletes will not be silent and continue to keep the conversation going, despite being told to stay silent and just play your respective sport.