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A protester holds a sign with a drawing of Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in Manhattan on June 4. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

The NFL said it was "wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier" on the issues of racism and systematic oppression of black Americans, National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement on Friday.

Context: Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick sued the league in 2018 for allegedly blackballing him over his protest of the treatment of African Americans at the hands of police, which consisted of him taking a knee during the National Anthem. The suit was settled last February.

What they're saying: "It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country," Goodell said. "First, my condolecnes to the familyies of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all the families who have endured police brutality."

  • "We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter," he said.
  • "I personally protest with you and want to be part of a much needed change in this country. Without black players, there would be no NFL."

What he's saying: President Trump tweeted late Sunday, "Could it be even remotely possible that in Roger Goodell’s rather interesting statement of peace and reconciliation, he was intimating that it would now be O.K. for the players to KNEEL, or not to stand, for the National Anthem, thereby disrespecting our Country & our Flag?"

Go deeper: Drew Brees draws ire for condemning athlete protests during national anthem

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Trump's comments.

Go deeper

Sep 10, 2020 - Podcasts

ESPN's Mina Kimes on the NFL's new reality

The NFL season kicks off tonight in Kansas City, but a lot has changed since the Chiefs hoisted their trophy in February including new economics, experiences and politics.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with ESPN football analyst Mina Kimes.

Ina Fried, author of Login
6 mins ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.