NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that he wished the NFL had listened to Colin Kaepernick back when the former athlete was kneeling in protest in 2016.
Roger shared his regrets while talking to former NFL player Emmanuel Acho for Acho’s video series, ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.’
For expanded context, they were preceded by Acho acknowledging the earlier statement Goodell put out (more on that below) while saying that an apology for “the catalyst for it all” was absent from that statement. Acho then asked how the NFL commish would word an apology to Kaepernick if he were to actually give one.
What came next were words that were chosen carefully, though that seemed to be the case throughout the sit-down (you may have picked up on the awkward wording in the preceding paragraph).
“Well the first thing I’d say is I wish we had listened earlier, Kap, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to,” the commissioner said. “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’ve benefited from it, absolutely.”
The relevant portion begins around the 4:00 mark and, if you’re looking to get straight to the point, around 4:35.
Imagine how different things may have been had the NFL simply taken a moment to listen. Watch below: