The most powerful men in the NFL loathed Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protests against racial injustice, essentially blackballing the former 49ers quarterback before reaching a financial settlement with him to end his collusion case against the league.
Now, following George Floyd’s death, commissioner Roger Goodell said he is “committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players.”
Likely speaking on behalf of many NFL players, Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills — who kneeled during the national anthem while with the Dolphins — shared his immediate thought about Goodell’s statement.
“Save the bulls–t,” the 28-year-old Stills tweeted along with a copy of the statement.
Among the multiple NFL players and coaches to address Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police was Kaepernick, 32, who hasn’t played in the league since 2016 despite greater talent and accomplishments than countless backups — and some starters — because he quietly took a knee during the national anthem to protest the racism that’s produced too many victims, like Floyd.
“When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction,” the former 49ers quarterback tweeted on May 28. “The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back! Rest in Power George Floyd.”
The commissioner’s statement came two days later.
“The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country,” Goodell said in the statement. “The protesters’ reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd and to those who have lost loved ones, including the families of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, the cousin of Tracy Walker of the Detroit Lions.
“As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league. These tragedies inform the NFL’s commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners.”
The statement, however, didn’t go over well.