- The NFL released a statement on Tuesday backing players who have protested to raise awareness about social issues.
- The statement referenced Colin Kaepernick, saying the issues he has raised “deserve our attention and action.”
- The statement comes after Nike made Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” ad campaign.
The NFL on Tuesday released a statement that backing players who have raised awareness about social issues – including Colin Kaepernick, though they didn’t mention his full name.
“The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities,” the statement read.
“The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”
The statement also highlighted some of the charitable work NFL players have done to support different causes.
Kaepernick has remained unsigned since the end of the 2016 season when he first began kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality. Last October, he filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, which is ongoing.
The statement is one of the NFL’s most supportive of protesting players since Kaepernick began his protest. The players and owners have met many times over the issue of player protests, with owners agreeing to highlight the work done by players in communities and agreeing to donate to charities of players’ choices.
In July, the league suspended a new rule owners had passed in the spring that said players on the field must stand for the national anthem. If players did not want to stand, they could remain in the locker room.
Following outrage over the rule and possible punishments, the league and players union agreed to suspend the rule and come up with a different policy. While both sides have said they continue to work on it, a new rule isn’t expected by the start of the season.
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