NFL Commissioner Apologizes After Mahomes, Mathieu and More Speak Out
After Patrick Mahomes spoke out about the protests and riots going on around the country in the last couple of weeks, he joined a group of NFL players to speak further on the Black Lives Matter movement and what they expected from the NFL. The league had not only been silent on the subject, but anti-black lives matter, silencing Colin Kaepernick after his 2016 protests.
The video below isn't just a quarterback struggling for a starting role silently protesting. It's the Super Bowl MVP. Future Hall of Famers. Elite wide receivers and running backs. Patrick Mahomes' teammate, Tyrann Mathieu. This is a group of heavy hitters demanding answers from the NFL.
When I saw this video, I did not expect much from Roger Goodell and the NFL. I expected a canned written statement that focused on the future of the league, but didn't touch on the silenced protests of Colin Kaepernick. The NFL has had legal battles, collusion accusations and more stem from that saga, so no way Goodell would speak on that.
Then, he did.
Did he specifically say 'Colin Kaepernick'? No, but Roger Goodell throwing his support to Black Lives Matter is a stark contrast to the hardline stance the NFL took with the perceived disrespect of the flag over the last several years.
Jason Reid of ESPN's The Undefeated wrote in length about this on his site, but it's the same thought I had when I saw Mahomes in the video on Friday. Mahomes is the face of the NFL, and he's openly defying what the league has said for the past three seasons and more.
Reid says it like this: "The stunning shift in the league’s public stance on the peaceful protest movement occurred because some of its black stars — and especially black quarterbacks — drew a line in the sand. Several black and white league officials told The Undefeated that the importance of Mahomes’ involvement in the video can’t be overstated. He’s not only the game’s top black star. He’s the face of the entire NFL."
Reid continues, and doubles down on the importance of Mahomes being in the video:
"It wasn’t just that Mahomes was part of the group," Reid writes. "He played a key role, looking into the camera and declaring for the first time in the video, 'Black Lives Matter.' Whoa. At that moment, Goodell and the owners were backed into a corner. As hard as they have worked to avoid even the mere mention of race, often awkwardly, let alone the whole Black Lives Matter movement over the past four years, seeing their best player saying those words required an immediate shift in strategy."
Patrick Mahomes isn't just the cover athlete of Madden 20 or the spokesman for Hunt's Ketchup and Adidas. He's the NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and arguably the most powerful voice in the NFL.
Roger Goodell listened when he spoke.
You can read Jason Reid's entire piece on Patrick Mahomes and the Black Lives Matter movement here: