Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL are doing everything they can to make up for their lack of support for racial equality in the past.
It was this time last week that Goodell admitted the league mishandled the Colin Kaepernick-led protests that started back in 2016. The league now supports both the Black Lives Matter movement and ongoing protests against police brutality.
NFL takes another step, to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday
Back on June 19th of 1865, Union soldiers declared the end of the Civil War after taking Galveston, Texas. It represented the end of the bloodiest war in American history and resulted in former President Abraham Lincoln’s previous Emancipation Proclamation coming to fruition.
The NFL on Friday announced that it will now recognize Juneteenth as a holiday next week. In the process, Goodell had some strong words.
“This year, as we work together as a family and in our communities to combat the racial injustices that remain deeply rooted in the fabric of our society, the NFL will observe Juneteenth as a recognized holiday and our league offices will be closed,” Goodell wrote. “It is a day to reflect on our past, but more importantly, consider how each one of us can continue to show up and band together to work toward a better future.”
Some may see this as a bit of pandering. However, it does come one day after the NFL committed $250 million to help combat “systemic racism” in the United States.
How the NFL world has reacted to the murder of George Floyd
This comes less than three weeks after an African-American man by the name of George Floyd was murdered by a then-Minneapolis police officer back on May 25. Since then, protests have become widespread in pretty much every major metropolitan area of the United States.
As for the NFL, top stars of all walks of life continue to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Heading into the unofficial national holiday of Juneteenth, we can expect even more talk of racial inequality and police brutality in the United States. That’s for sure.