Roger Goodell, Drew Brees, and the NFL think Black Americans are stupid. They actually believe the acts they put on in 2020 worked.
A few months back, Goodell sat down with Mike Tirico – a Black man that considers himself Italian, not Black – and former NFL player Emmanuel Acho – a first-generation Nigeran American – who hosts a show that’s designed to make white people believe that “uncomfortable conversations” are the solution to racial equality, to tell us how “sorry” he was for the huge role he played in systemic racism, the continued blackballing of Colin Kaepernick, and the persistent angst associated with Black players kneeling during the national anthem.
And back in June, Brees used Instagram to apologize after saying, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country” on the subject of kneeling in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis.
I hope Goodell, Brees, and anyone else involved in the racial charades the NFL put on last year realize that today, of all days, is why Black America always has, and always will, see right through you. Because for all the apologizing, and all the end zones that were etched with “End Racism” and “It Takes All Of Us,” why haven’t we heard from them about an election that’s arguably more important than the one we had in November?
The answer is simple: They never cared in the first place.
“Georgia, the whole nation is looking to you. The power is literally in your hands. One state can chart the course, not just for the next four years, but for the next generation,” said President-elect Joe Biden at a recent campaign stop in Atlanta, about the two runoff elections that are happening today in Georgia. Elections that will determine which party controls the Senate, those proposed $2,000 stimulus checks, and how the Covid-19 vaccine is distributed. Kelly Loeffler (R) is up against Raphael Warnock (D), while David Perdue (R) is facing off with Jon Ossoff (D).
And since it’s been revealed that our current “President” attempted the greatest act of voter suppression on record, as he urged Georgia’s Secretary of State to “find 11,780 votes” so that he could win the state, it’s no wonder former President Obama called it a threat to the “fundamental principles of our democracy.”
With that much at stake, and considering how the ramifications of this election could affect millions of the NFL’s fans, you would think that this country’s most powerful sports league would be present. But as you might have noticed, they’re nowhere to be found. And the reason is that the NFL is in bed with the political party that’s “a threat to the fundamental principles of our democracy.”
In October, Deadspin put together a list of NFL owners that have donated millions to Trump and the GOP. Read it.
However, there are some in the NFL that are getting things done. We know that Patrick Mahomes is a part of LeBron James’ “More Than A Vote” coalition that has been very involved in the runoff election. On Monday, former NFL Player and Georgia native Takeo Spikes wrote an op-ed for USA Today on how rural Black voters that used to get ignored now have the power to flip the Senate. Spikes also works with the New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan effort that helps get Georgia residents registered to vote. And in late November, the Atlanta Falcons announced that Mercedes-Benz Stadium would also serve as an early voting location along with State Farm Arena, where the Atlanta Hawks play.
Seven months ago, Brees said, “I stand with the Black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference.”
Seven months later, and he hasn’t done a thing. I guess Sunday’s upcoming playoff game against the Bears has him too busy to make another one of those Instagram posts he loves so much in support of Warnock, who’s trying to become the first Black senator in Georgia’s history.
Four months ago, Goodell said, “The NFL stands with the Black community, the players, clubs, and fans confronting systemic racism. We will not relent in our work.”
Four months later, and the NFL hasn’t released an official statement about what the league is doing in terms of social and racial justice in months. Here’s the link to their communications website, you can take a look for yourself.
Sometime this week, we will know the results of one of the most important elections in recent American history. The ramifications could impact a race of people that make up at least 70 percent of the NFL’s workforce for decades. But regardless of the outcome, I hope Black Americans never forget that the league’s white commissioner and one of its most popular white quarterbacks sat back and did absolutely nothing after guaranteeing that they would almost do anything to help.