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The NFL’s 180 On Player Protests

FiveThirtyEight   More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code We start this week by looking at further statements from prominent players and the NFL itself about the current protests against systemic racism and police violence. And there were a lot of statements. While Roger Goodell saying “Black Lives Matter” on camera may have been an important milestone for the league, we think it was probably New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees issuing several apologies — and a direct appeal to President Trump to stop obscuring the true meaning of player protests with claims about the anthem and the flag — that showed the league how much both player and public sentiment have shifted since 2016. While NFL owners have stayed largely silent, the grassroots push from players and league staff to make their voices heard over the past week will certainly influence the NFL going forward. As, we suspect, will the coronavirus, which could take the specter of negative fan reaction to kneeling players out of the equation. Next, we discuss the NBA’s now finalized plans to restart play, with an eight-game “season” for 22 teams followed by the playoffs as normal, all at Disney World.

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