"Leaders lead. Cowards kneel."
These were the wise words re-tweeted by President Trump on Twitter just hours before the NFL and Roger Goodell BACKTRACKED their opposition to protesting the American flag and American anthem.
Now, the NFL and Roger Goodell have kneeled down to far left radicals who claim that every institution in America is racist.
The flag and the national anthem are supposed to be unifying symbols that bring ALL Americans together.
This is why it's so critical to avoid politicizing and protesting these unifying symbols.
Yet the NFL and Roger Goodell have caved into the crowd of political correctness, claiming that "we were wrong" to oppose kneeling protests.
More details below:
Does this mean that Goodell and the NFL are actively supporting the protesters?
Many view the protesting of the national anthem and American flag as anti-American protesting.
After all, these emblems represent our great nation!
How ironic that those who have been able to achieve greatness and success would protest the anthem and claim that the "system" is against them!
The system is what allowed them to achieve in the first place!
The Washington Examiner has more on this backtrack:
National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for the league's position opposing players kneeling during the national anthem.
The NFL walked back the league's position in a video statement Friday after expressing condolences to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, later issuing a strong condemnation of racism.
"We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. 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. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter," Goodell said in a video statement. "I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country."
Protests during football games first began after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem in 2016 protesting police brutality. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in 2016. "To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way."
However, after Kaepernick spoke with Nate Boyer, a former member of the United States Army Special Forces, about the level of respect exhibited for the national anthem, Kaepernick changed tactics to kneel during the anthem, which occurs before every game.
People support peaceful protests!
However, the kneeling and refusal to even honor America was seen by many as anti-American.
Rather than apologizing, the protesters doubled-down
Now, it appears that the NFL will encourage athletes to disrespect the country.
It will be interesting to see how fans respond when games resume.
Ironically, though the NFL and Goodell likely tried to score brownie points among those in the far left, their backtrack has been met by disapproval on all sides.
Conservatives argue that the NFL is actively encouraging anti-American protests.
Liberals, on the other hand, claim that it's too little, too late for the NFL.
Howard Bryant, a senior ESPN writer, posted:
The killing of George Floyd by four Minneapolis police officers has created a surprising flashpoint, an acknowledgement by previously disbelieving white people of the violence historically inflicted upon African Americans and a sudden, jarring suggestion that America is ready to deal directly with the terrible truths that violence has entailed: Police treat black citizens harshly with devastating consequences. Prosecutors are reluctant to charge police. Juries are even more reluctant to convict them. In the rare case of a conviction, judges are unwilling to punish them with firm prison sentences -- if any jail time at all. Corporations across the country, including now the NFL, have pledged solidarity with their black citizens, seeking to reflect harmony by using the term "Black Lives Matter." Since the inception of the term, law enforcement agencies have co-opted it with their own "Blue Lives Matter" while attempting to link the original with domestic terrorism -- a characterization that those same corporations using the term now did little to refute then.
Included prominently in the nationwide protests is the gesture of taking a knee toward the American flag. It's a distress signal indicating that the country has not lived up to the democratic ideals it spreads across the globe -- ideals it tells soldiers that their uniforms and flag represent, ideals Americans believe separate them from countries that jail, kill and otherwise silence their citizens. It is Colin Kaepernick's symbol, and it is used everywhere -- by children and high school students who reference him as their inspiration, and now by police and politicians to quell public anger directed at them to suggest finally, after so much time, a willingness to listen.
It is also the symbol NFL owners used as justification to destroy Kaepernick's NFL career. In 2017, it was the NFL that sent the message nationwide that kneeling was illegitimate, and by extension, criticism of police. Three years later, the NFL carries the greatest burden of any sports league to rectify the damage it now admits it has done.
After the sloganeering and statements, the NFL serves as a microcosm of the corrections Americans are now expecting. Kaepernick is not vindicated because he is still being punished. Nor did he reveal something black people did not know. He was punished for supporting them.
The league must answer the question of today's moment: Is this a reckoning, or is it a dance? NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a recorded statement Friday night attempting to reconcile with players in response to a video players released Thursday night featuring Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes and several others demanding acknowledgement on the part of the NFL that their protests be taken seriously. But like other corporations across the country that have decried violence, racism and intolerance while barely mentioning police, Goodell offered condolences to the families affected by police brutality without acknowledging the reason people are in the streets in the first place: They want it to end.
Goodell's statement also did not mention the name "Kaepernick," the surest sign yet that the NFL is unserious about the actual work that needs to be done to make this right. Goodell apologized for the NFL not listening to players, and even this basic, ostensibly conciliatory statement is false. The NFL did listen to players. It listened to Malcolm Jenkins. It listened to Anquan Boldin. It listened to white players, such as Drew Brees and its white ex-players-turned-broadcasters, such as Boomer Esiason, who were offended by Kaepernick's position. It listened to its white fans. The NFL did a lot of listening -- and concluded the course of action was to punish black people -- which they have not undone. Even when trying to reach the truth, Goodell still could not tell it.
Umm, let's get the facts straight: the NFL didn't destroy Kaepernick's career.
Kaepernick destroyed his own career.
By disrespecting the American flag (and thereby disrespecting Americans), he alienated at least half the country.
Furthermore, what brand, advertiser, or team would want to work with an athlete that many believe appears to promote anti-American ideals?
The most disturbing thing with Goodell's backtrack, though, is that it appears to be a political maneuver, not a genuinely inspired "apology."