NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will encourage players to use their voice to promote social change as the demonstrations during the national anthem started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last month continue to spread to other teams.
Speaking before the Minnesota Vikings’ first regular-season game at their new stadium against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, Goodell told a group of reporters the movement from “protests to progress” is a positive sign.
“As I’ve said before, I truly respect our players wanting to speak out and change the community,” Goodell said. “We don’t live in a perfect society. We want them to use that voice. And they’re moving from protests to progress and trying to make things happen in the communities. And I admire that about our players, (being) willing to do that.
“Obviously, we want to respect people. We want to respect our differences. We want to respect our flag and our country, and our players understand that. So I think where they’re moving and how they’re moving there is very productive, and we’re going to encourage that.
Goodell said he hasn’t reached out to Kaepernick directly.
Kaepernick once again kneeled during The Star-Spangled Banner before the 49ers’ loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Members of the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers were among others demonstrating in different ways during the anthem. Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said in a radio interview his team will do some sort of demonstration before Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears.
SOURCE: Tom Pelissero