Scores of NFL players made their voices heard Sunday when they elected to protest during the national anthem in response to President Donald Trump’s fiery rant that called for those who take a knee to be “fired.”
And Roger Goodell couldn’t be happier about his league’s response to Trump’s divisive rhetoric.
The NFL commissioner discussed Sunday’s events with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, and Goodell thought the league handled the unique situation as well as possible.
“The way we reacted today, and this weekend, made me proud,” Goodell said. “I’m proud of our league.”
And Goodell wasn’t surprised by the response to the president’s comments.
“They reflected the frustration, the disappointment, of the players over the divisive rhetoric we heard (from Trump),” Goodell said.
But the commissioner does believe that the game of football can be a unifying force on the local and national level.
“I think we have to be focused on what the NFL is doing—staying true to our values, unifying people and continuing an effort to understand and help improve our communities. People love coming together around football. We saw nothing but exciting football today. I think the public loves our game and recognizes the efforts we’re making with it.”
Goodell, however, wasn’t hurt by Trump’s apparent crusade against his league, believing this can only strengthen the community at large.
“We live in an imperfect society. A public discourse makes us strong.”
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images