Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Sunday that he should have "listened earlier" to quarterback Colin Kaepernick about issues of police brutality and racial injustice that led Kaepernick to begin kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Why it matters: Activism in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, including by top NFL players, successfully pressured the league in May to take a stand against racism, support players' right to peacefully protest, and express regret over how it handled the Kaepernick controversy.

What he's saying: "Well, the first thing I'd say is I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to," Goodell said in a conversation with former NFL player Emmanuel Acho.

  • "We had invited him in several times to have the conversation to have the dialogue. I wish we had the benefit of that. We never did. You know, we would have benefited from that. Absolutely."
  • "It is not about the flag. The message here is, what our players are doing is being mischaracterized. These are not people who are unpatriotic. They're not disloyal. They're not against our military. ... What they were trying to do is exercise their right to bring attention to something that needs to get fixed. That misrepresentation of who they were and what they were doing was the thing that really gnawed at me."

Go deeper: The 72 hours that changed the NFL

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Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Sep 9, 2020 - Sports

College football becomes a political proxy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

College football has become a key political issue as the 2020 election approaches, and the impending NFL season will only ratchet up the intensity around empty stadiums and player protests.

Why it matters: Football is America's most popular sport. And considering 43 of the top 50 most-watched TV broadcasts last year were football games, it's arguably our most popular form of entertainment, period.

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 30,873,714 — Total deaths: 958,383— Total recoveries: 21,103,559Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,788,343 — Total deaths: 199,421 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.