After players and a rogue employee forced the NFL’s hand by creating a video response to their flimsy first statement, the league heard from plenty more voices.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announced to his executive team Friday morning he was going to make a video response, but before it was filmed, he got even more input.
According to Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America, the league held a virtual town hall for its employees Friday, which was co-hosted by M.J. Acosta and Steve Wyche of NFL Network.
“It was a ‘Let it out’ session,” said 31-year-old Jarick Walker, an influencer and talent marketing manager for the league. “A lot of people [black employees] were feeling frustrated. But we got to the point where we weren’t afraid to voice it anymore.”
Walker was the first person to speak during the town hall, and his message was a powerful one.
“I was outspoken,” Walker told me. “My point, basically, was this: I am unsure where we stand. The NFL is the American sport that brings us all together when disasters happen. The NFL brought the country together after 9/11, after Karina. Here’s another disaster. The NFL’s not bringing us together. Why? We’re America’s game. We need to hear from the mountaintop that we as a league condemn racism.”
Hours later, Goodell filmed his own video response. Even though it might have stopped one step short of a full-throated agreement with the players, it was a huge march from where they had been previously.
And at least a sign that they actually are listening this time.
NFL held town hall meeting for employees to voice frustrations originally appeared on Pro Football Talk