NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admits league was wrong to silence players on racism issues

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has publicly apologised for the way the organisation dealt with player protesting police brutality and systemic racism.

On Friday, several high profile NFL players called for Goodell to condemn racism and to affirm that black lives matter.

Goodell did just that in a video on the BFL's social media platforms.

"We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people," he said. 

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest. 

"We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter."

The player's video was led by New Orleans Saints star Michael Thomas and featured Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes. 

The message was simple; "We will not be silenced"

 "It's been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered." 

The players then took turns asking the question, "What if I was George Floyd?" 

Goodell said he would personally connect with several players who have made their voices heard over the last two weeks.

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

In 2016 former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick brought controversy to the sport when he and several other players began kneeling during the national anthems.

The demonstration was intended to bring attention to racial injustices, but it caused heated nationwide debate in the United States. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admits league was wrong to silence players on racism issues
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Kaepernick was labelled a traitor in some circles and a martyr in others.

He was released at the end of that season and hasn't played in the NFL since.