Roger Goodell sat down with Emmanuel Acho for “Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man” and discussed his father Charles Goodell’s legacy of marching with Coretta Scott King and his regrets for not being more supportive of Colin Kaepernick and other players as they took the knee to protest injustice in America.
We think A LOT of people will be surprised by the episode, which Goodell kicks off by saying Acho will have a tough time making him uncomfortable because, he is “very comfortable talking about race, I have all my life.”
Goodell goes on to talk about his elementary school experience, where kids were bussed to his school. His father Charles was in politics and the family lived in DC from 1959 until 1970. The Vietnam War was very controversial and his father opposed the war. Emmanuel Acho shared a photo of Goodell’s dad with Coretta Scott King and George McGovern marching together protest the war. He also revealed that his father ended up losing his political seat over his position on the war.
Acho then turns the conversation to the current protests against racial injustice, asking Goodell what he knows now that he wished he’d known earlier.
Just what was going on in the communities. I didn’t know what was going on with the communities. I had the chance to sit with the players. I never had the chance to sit with Kaep. I talked to Kenny Stills, Eric Reid, Malcolm Jenkins, Anquan Boldin, so many of the players. Some of them sacrificed a good deal.
Acho mentions Goodell has never apologized to Kaepernick for the way the NFL treated him. He asks him what he would say if he were given the opportunity to apologize to Kaep now.
“I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and trying to bring attention to. We had invited him in several times to have the conversation and have the dialogue, I wish we had the benefit of that. We never did. We would have benefitted from that. Absolutely.”
Hmmm that doesn’t really sound that apologetic… Is it just us or do you agree?
Acho also goes on to explain how the kneeling was never about the flag and Goodell concurs:
“It is not about the flag. The message here of what our players are doing is being mischaracterized. These are not people who are unpatriotic. They are not disloyal. They are not against the military. In fact many of those guys were in the military and they are military family. What they were trying to do is to exercise their right and bring attention to something that needs to be fixed. The misrepresentation of who they were and what they were doing is something that gnawed at me.”
WELP. Now there you have it. Maybe he does get it.
Check out the full interview below:
So what did you think? Did Goodell surprise you? Do you think Emmanuel Acho was hard enough on him? What do you want to hear from Goodell in Part 2?