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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

Go deeper

13 hours ago - Sports

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

17 hours ago - Sports

NBA announces new coronavirus protocols

The Los Angeles Lakers play the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2020 NBA Finals. Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The NBA has laid out new coronavirus protocols, including restrictions on when players can return to play after testing positive for COVID-19, ESPN first reported Saturday.

Why it matters: The protocols, which must still be ratified by the league and the National Basketball Players Association, come as players prepare for training camps next week, AP notes. The preseason begins Dec. 11 and the 72-game regular-season starts Dec. 22.

Hans Nichols, author of Sneak Peek
8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional Hispanics want Lujan Grisham at HHS

Michelle Lujan Grisham arriving on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Hispanic lawmakers are openly lobbying to have New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham be named Health and Human Services secretary, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: These members are now following the example some Black lawmakers have used for weeks: trying to convince Joe Biden his political interests will be served by rewarding certain demographic groups with Cabinet picks.