Why this matters
“We know Black Lives Matter, but prove it to us,” says Rhoden. “Open up opportunities so you will be rewarded. Do the right thing now, so you won’t have to apologize fifty years from now.”
After the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery in 2020, Black Lives Matter was shouted, posted, and repeated by thousands of Americans. The phenomenon of a national reckoning with racial injustice ignited questions about the status quo and the powers that be. If anything is certain, it’s that there needs to be systemic change.
When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell posted a video saying “Black Lives Matter,” he immediately received backlash for his hypocrisy and complicity in maintaining a system that continuously disadvantages and disrespects Black players, coaches, and executives.
“We don’t want any more apologies,” says Bill Rhoden.
The NFL needs to recognize that the numbers don’t lie. There is a serious problem of inequity and racism throughout the league, and it must be accountable. Will the league take genuine actions to create and maintain an equitable and diverse league on the field, on the sidelines, and in the C-suite?
18 years after the inception of the Rooney Rule, data shows a lack of forward progress when it comes to diversity at the highest levels of leadership in the NFL.
What actions are necessary to move the chains on safety, equity, and inclusion in the league?