NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a shockwave through the world of sports on Tuesday that nobody saw coming.
Writing in a memo to team owners and executives, he said, in part, “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues."
Goodell continued, “The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”
Critics of Goodell decided to the use the moment as an opportunity to offer their own explanation. From where they sit, it's a race issue, and Goodell is only obeying the demands of white NFL owners.
The head-turning reactions speak for themselves:
It's like black fans, and fans wanting equality, don't even exist.
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) October 10, 2017
Any NFL statement that doesn't include the words racism, white supremacy, inequality, police brutality or oppression is useless. https://t.co/sngnm13fx2
— Wendi C. Thomas (@wendi_c_thomas) October 10, 2017
The NFL will get its players in line. White owners will dictate how players of color express their concern over State violence. As always. https://t.co/fNiektNx88
— halcyon dubs 🌹 (@theycallmedubs) October 10, 2017
As a military veteran and an NFL fan, I find it cynical and dangerous for Roger Goodell to silence peaceful protest from black athletes.
— Charles Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 10, 2017
“we need to move past this controversy” is mighty white of roger goodell. https://t.co/uVuVMR1WIx
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) October 10, 2017
Apparently Roger Goodell thinks racial injustice and police brutality is something we can just “move past”
— Steph Payano (@stephpayano_) October 10, 2017
So much for tolerance of a different opinion. While some might have hoped that the anthem protests were going to end, there appears to be a big voice to want it to continue. I guess we will see what happens come Sunday.