When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first sparked a national conversation about social inequality and systemic racism in the country, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he didn’t necessarily agree with Kaepernick’s method of protest.
However, after more and more players have joined in on the protest, Goodell seems to have changed his tune.
In a recent interview, Goodell discussed the growing protests around the league and said he actually applauds the NFL players who are speaking out on social issues.
“As I’ve said before, I truly respect our players wanting to speak out and change the community,” Goodell said, via USA TODAY Sports. “We don’t live in a perfect society. We want them to use that voice. They’re moving from protests to progress and trying to make things happen in the communities, and I admire that about our players [being] willing to do that.
“Obviously, we want to respect people. We want to respect our differences. We want to respect our flag and our country, and our players understand that. So I think where they’re moving and how they’re moving there is very productive, and we’re going to encourage that.”
In the midst of the protests, there has been plenty of good for local communities.
Kaepernick is donating the first $1 million of his salary to community organizations, while the 49ers agreed to match that donation. Kaepernick is also donating 100 percent of the proceeds from his jersey sales — which is currently atop the league — to programs that can help communities in need.
Other players who have joined the protest have met with police officials and are looking for ways to bring their communities together.
Because of all the positive to come from the protests, it’s easy to see why Goodell is applauding his players’ efforts.
After all, what good is a platform if you don’t use it? It’s great to see the NFL players making a real difference.
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