NBA star LeBron James says that the National Football League owes Colin Kaepernick a full, official apology.
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek released on Thursday, James said that the NFL needs to issue that apology to prove the league is “listening” to the players.
James took aim at the NFL after being asked about the “I Can’t Breathe” he and other NBA players had been wearing during warmups.
“As far as the NFL, I’m not in those locker rooms, I’m not with those guys, but I do understand that an apology — I have not heard a true, official apology to Colin Kaepernick on what he was going through and what he was trying to tell the NFL and tell the world about why he was kneeling when he was doing that as a San Francisco 49er,” James said. “I just see that to still be wrong. Now they are listening some, but I still think we have not heard that official apology to a man who basically sacrificed everything for the better of this world.”
James then compared and contrasted his league with pro football.
“One thing I can speak for is what I’m a part of,” James continued. “I’m a part of a league with a great commissioner in Adam Silver, and he’s always listened to the voices of his players, and I’ve always respected him for that. He’s given us an opportunity that when we feel something that’s very wrong with society, that’s very wrong with what’s going on in our communities, that we can speak upon that and use the NBA’s shield to back us and I have nothing but respect for Adam Silver.”
Early this month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a blanket “apology”, claiming that the NFL was “wrong” not to “listen to the players.”
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said in a video released after the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd. “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
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