In reactions to Roger Goodell’s mea culpa, most seized on what he didn’t say

On May 30, a statement from the NFL commissioner expressed condolences to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, who had all been killed, and said the league would commit to solving systemic problems, he said. didn’t offer details.

Goodell took a different stance on Friday – bluntly admitting that the NFL was wrong not to have listened to players’ peaceful protests in the past.

“Without black players, there would be no National Football League,” said Goodell. “And the protests across the country are emblematic of centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, supporters and staff.”

But this is what has not been said that Internet users have grasped.

A name: Colin Kaepernick.

Colin Kaepernick watches during his NFL training held at Charles R Drew High School on November 16, 2019

Goodell made no mention of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who led the first peaceful protest in 2016 against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. At the end of the 2016-17 season, Kaepernick was dropped by the 49ers.

“You can’t apologize to players without mentioning Colin Kaepernick,” wrote Mike Freeman, former NFL columnist for the Bleacher Report, on Twitter.

Unable to get a job since becoming a free agent, Kaepernick is still busy. In 2016, he and his partner Nessa Diab launched the Know Your Rights non-profit camp, which aims to educate and empower black and brown youth.

He has since become the poster child of the protest movement. His face is on shirts, almost always shown on his knees.

Colin Kaepernick # 7 and Eric Reid # 35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest at the national anthem before playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi & # 39; s Stadium on September 12, 2016.

Just this week, as thousands of protesters across the United States and around the world protested police brutality after the death of George Floyd, many fell on their knees – as did Kaepernick.

On Friday night, rapper and actor Ice Cube went on Twitter, calling the NFL specifically.

“NFL: do the right thing for this man,” he wrote, attaching a photo of Kaepernick.

Kaeprnick expressed his desire to continue playing, even reaching a settlement in 2019 for his collusion grievance against the NFL, alleging that the teams had prevented him and his fellow activist Eric Reid from playing.

Even before Goodell’s admission that the NFL had made a mistake, there had been calls to re-hire Kaepernick.

Joe Lockhart, a CNN political analyst and former NFL executive, wrote an editorial urging owners of the Minnesota Vikings to sign Kaepernick specifically.

“This will not solve the problem of black people and police violence,” he wrote. “But he will recognize the problem that Kaepernick has raised powerfully and perhaps show that with courage real progress can be made.”

On Friday, however, these calls became even stronger.

Clint Smith, author and social commentator, was candid: “The NFL should officially apologize to Colin Kaepernick.” This post already has over 25,000 retweets, and it counts.

Goodell’s statement, while stronger, no longer cuts it, online feelings are gone.

People, at least on social media, want action. They want, frankly, Kaepernick.

CORRECTION: This patch has been updated to say that Mike Freeman is a former NFL columnist for the Bleacher Report.

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