Sports | October 25, 2017 12:13 pm

NFL Exec Troy Vincent on Why the Player Protests Actually Worked

Executive vice president of football operations dishes on the league's biggest issue in years.

If you followed the National Football League in the 1990s, you’ll remember Troy Vincent, one of the better cornerbacks in the league, who started in Miami and all but dominated in Philadelphia.

Nowadays, he’s executive vice president of football operations at the NFL, which according to the league website, “fosters a culture of clarity, consistency and credibility and ensures that the game’s rules—and the league’s officiating—are consistent to ensure the sport’s long-term success.” Lofty goals in a league that has been under fire of late for the opacity of some of its rules—especially, those regarding standing during the national anthem.

Vincent’s now become one of the key intermediaries between owners and players as sideline protests continue and mixed messages continue to be communicated from league commissioner Roger Goodell. “My role is to facilitate those healthy conversations among communities, players, the commissioner’s office, owners,” Vincent told The Root. That also includes “law enforcement, and the men and women of the armed forces,” he says.

He’s truly one of the good guys, explains The Root, as he “spent his playing career championing social justice, civil rights and gender equality. He is a longtime advocate against domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.” As a Buffalo Bill in the aughts, Vincent launched a program with the Wharton School of Business to help teach players about how to thrive after their playing days are over.

Of the situation following Colin Kaepernick‘s protests, Vincent told The Root that “It created an unprecedented dialogue. Unprecedented,” he said. “We’re now having ongoing discussions about solutions, plans and action items. We want to come to a resolution for our, fans, sponsors and owners.”