Emmanuel Acho announced the next episode of his Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man series will be available Sunday night at 7pm ET and feature NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as his guest.
Thursday evening, Acho previewed the conversation which works to break barriers and push anti-racism, noting he’ll ask Goodell about a public apology for Colin Kaepernick. After the league and many fans shamed the former quarterback for kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, his peaceful protest is more widely accepted four years later.
“We the National Football League admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Goodell said in a video condemning racism and supporting Black Lives Matter in the wake of the George Floyd murder.
Kaepernick was not specifically mentioned in the video released by the NFL on June 5, which Goodell drew some criticism for, but the commissioner will have the opportunity to address it with Acho. Also likely to be addressed should be the NFL’s lack of inclusivity for hired positions.
70% of NFL players are Black, yet the league has just three Black head coaches, two Black general managers and never had a Black team president until a few days ago. The NFL has a shameful record of hiring minorities for positions of leadership, coaching and even broadcasting. Highlighted by the Rooney Rule, attempts have been made to improve the league’s minority hiring, but the problem persists.
Goodell’s not known for his personality and savvy media skills, but this is a conversation that is meant to be uncomfortable. Between Kaepernick, peaceful protests, social justice and Black Lives Matter, there are plenty of productive questions for Goodell and Acho to discuss.