Roger Goodell Statement on George Floyd Criticized by Some NFL Players

Eric Reid and Kenny Stills both called out the NFL commissioner's statement on social media

Goodell NFL George Floyd
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a press conference on January 29, 2020.
Rich Graessle/PPI/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
By Luis Paez-Pumar / May 31, 2020 12:33 pm

In light of the protests happening nationwide after the death of George Floyd, the NFL’s most powerful executive has weighed in, to mixed reaction. League commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement via Twitter on Saturday, where it was then criticized by some NFL players that have clashed with the league over activism in recent years.

The statement acknowledges that the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery all demand “an urgent need for action,” while saying that the league embraces the responsibility that comes with their massive platform.

However well-intended the statement, at least two notable NFL activists have decried it for hypocrisy. First, free agent safety Eric Reid, who most recently played with the Carolina Panthers last season, mocked it by comparing it to the league’s misguided “Songs of the Season” campaign, which sought to raise money to help underprivileged communities by showcasing independent artists.

Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills has more to the point, calling the statement “bullshit” in a tweet replying to the NFL’s original post:

Stills and Reid were both part of the group of players that took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racism, a protest that first made headlines due to former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The league eventually cracked down on the protest after months of controversy, with Goodell announcing before the 2018 season that players had to stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room while it played.

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