NFL's George Floyd statement slammed as hypocritical after league's stand on Kaepernick: 'Save the bulls***'
Fans took the league to task for acknowledging the "pain, anger and frustration" of the protesters, the very reasons why Kaepernick started taking the knee at games
The National Football League (NFL) was denounced by fans and players alike on Saturday, May 30, after league commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement on George Floyd's death. His statement was branded hypocritical by many as it brought to attention the treatment meted by the league to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his #TakeAKnee movement to protest police brutality.
Goodell took nearly a week to address the tragic death of Floyd as he released a 150-word statement on Twitter. "The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country. The protesters' reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel," the statement on Twitter read.
"Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd and to those who have lost loved ones, including the families of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, the cousin of Tracy Walker of the Detroit Lions. As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league. These tragedies inform the NFL's commitment and our ongoing efforts."
"There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners," Goodell's statement added.
Shortly after his tweet, many took to social media to point out the last paragraph in the statement, reading "we recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society," and called it hypocritical as they linked it to Kaepernick.
Kaepernick hasn’t played a down since opting out of his contract in 2016, the same year the quarterback began his protest when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. The player stirred a national controversy in an effort to protest police brutality in the country. Other players soon took his cue and joined the protest in the 2016 season, while many others have continued the protest till now. Kaepernick's movement drew heavy criticism from President Donald Trump, who even called for the owners of the NFL teams to fire the players who were participating in it. The NFL, last year, in 2017, announced a rule which required all the players to stand during the national anthem. The association, however, gave an option to the players to stand off the field until the ceremony was over instead of kneeling outside.
A seemingly furious Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills replied to the NFL statement on Saturday, tweeting: "Save the bulls***." While screenwriter Gary Whitta also commented on the statement, writing: "Actions speak louder than words and your actions have been wholly inadequate. Pass."
Best-selling crime novelist Don Winslow also criticized the NFL: "A group of billionaire white guys who destroyed @Kaepernick7's career and punished and hurt the careers of black players protesting have no credibility to send this message."
"What all of this statement really says: Colin Kaepernick was right," another Twitter user wrote. "The league's owners—the commissioner's bosses—blew this years ago when they didn't care."
Kaepernick has continued to keep in shape, in hope that a franchise will sign him and he will get to play again. The quarterback, who had led San Francisco to the 2013 Super Bowl, last February had reached a confidential settlement with the NFL after alleging that the league blackballed him.
The NFL had arranged tryouts for the quarterback at Atlanta Falcons training facility in Georgia last year, however, the location was shifted to a high school stadium at the last minute. Kaepernick, while commenting on the change, had stated that it was done so that the media could be present. Reports state that Kaepernick's team decided to move the location of his workout after they accused the NFL of not acting rightfully.