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Dublin: 0°C Friday 16 April 2021

'We admit we were wrong': NFL accepts it should have listened to players' racism protests

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell posted a video on Friday night as widespread protests continue in the United States.

Goodell: “We are listening, I am listening.
Goodell: “We are listening, I am listening."

NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER Goodell has admitted the league has been at fault for not listening to its players denouncing racism.

The United States is currently gripped by widespread protests over police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota last week.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had been one of the main activists in the past, regularly kneeling down during the national anthem, but the matter was never formally addressed.

And Goodell, who offered his condolences to the families of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, said the NFL was wrong.

“It has been a difficult time for our country, in particular black people in our country,” he said on a video posted on Twitter.

“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.

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“We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.

“Without black players there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff.

“We are listening, I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”

Goodell’s message came after a number of the NFL’s leading players called on the league to denounce racism in a video.

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