NFL players are asking, “What if I were George Floyd?”

On Thursday, football stars, including Patrick Mahomes and Odell Beckham Jr., released a video showing their support for the Black Lives Matter protests and calling on the NFL to do better.

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“It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered,” the players say. “How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players?”

The video continues, posing the questions, “What will it take? For one of us to be murdered by police brutality?”

After naming Floyd and other Black people killed by police in recent years, the players state, “I will not be silenced. We assert our rights to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit.”

They then follow up with a statement directly addressing the NFL.

“This is what we, the players, would like to here you state: We, the National Football League, condemn and the systematic oppression of Black people. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe Black lives matter.”

In a social media post on Thursday, the NFL showed support for the protests, saying, “We stand with the black community because Black Lives Matter.”

The statement added, “To date we have donated $44 million to support hundreds of worthy organizations. This year, we are committing an additional $20 million to these causes and we will accelerate efforts to highlight their critical work. We know that we can and need to do more.”

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell then admitted that they were wrong for how they dealt with the protests that started with former player Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. However, many people pointed out that Goodell never names Kaepernick or formally apologizes to him.


Since 2017, Kaepernick has not been signed to a contract with any NFL team, which many see as a result of his protest. In 2019, despite denying any collusion to keep him from being signed, the league reached a settlement with Kaepernick, as well as fellow player and protester Eric Reid.

Earlier this week, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag,” when asked about Kaepernick’s protest, later apologizing for “insensitive” comments after receiving public criticism.

Benjamin Watson, former New England Patriots teammate, said the statement was a good first step but the NFL now needs to show actual change.

Great statement, we applaud it… Now let’s go to the next step in action and let’s see the proof when we look at NFL clubs now moving forward,” he told CNN.

A number of people have responded on Twitter to both the original video and Goodell’s admission.