Warner Todd Huston, Breitbart, August 24, 2020
In a weekend interview, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell exclaimed that he believes that anthem protests are “not about the flag” and wishes he had “listed” to Colin Kaepernick earlier.
Goodell issued his lamentations on FS1 host Emmanuel Acho’s YouTube series, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” on Sunday.
Acho brought up Goodell’s admission in June that the league badly handled the national anthem protests starting in 2016 when Kaepernick first began his protests.
In June, Goodell said it was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
But Acho pointed out that Goodell did not specifically mention Kaepernick in that June “apology,” and he wondered if the commissioner had anything to add to that apology now.
“Well, the first thing I’d say is I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to,” Goodell replied. “We had invited him in several times to have the conversation, to have the dialogue. I wish we had the benefit of that, we never did. We would have benefited from that, absolutely.”
After Acho outlined some of the criticism that patriots and conservatives have about the protests, Goodell countered that those concerns are wrong.
“Sometimes,” Goodell said, “because I’ve known for years now that the peaceful protests during the national anthem — it was never about the flag — to the point where I just want to rip out my hair sometimes and say ‘it’s not about the flag.’ If you were to be able to relay that message what would you say? Like to people who still think it’s about the flag, what would you tell them?”
“It is not about the flag. The message here that what our players are doing is being mischaracterized. These are not people who are unpatriotic. They’re not disloyal,” Goodell concluded.