Goodell on players kneeling during national anthem: ‘I wish we would have listened earlier’

DALLAS (CBS News) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in over the weekend on the controversy surrounding players kneeling during the national anthem.

Goodell appeared with Emmanuel Acho in the internet series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” and talked about the leagues treatment of Colin Kaepernick.

Acho asked Goodell what he would say in a public apology to Kaepernick.

“The first thing I’d say, I wish we would have listened earlier to what he was kneeling about and what he wanted to bring attention to,” Goodell said. “We had invited him in several times to have the conversation, to have the dialogue. I wish we had the benefit of that. We never did. And we would’ve benefited from that, absolutely.”

Goodell also agreed with Acho that the kneeling was not about the flag and said the intentions of the players were mischaracterized.

"These are not people who are unpatriotic. They're not disloyal. They're not against our military," Goodell said. "In fact, many of those guys were in the military, and they're a military family. And what they were trying to do is exercise their right to bring attention to something that needs to get fixed. And that misrepresentation of who they were and what they were doing was the thing that really gnawed at me."

In June, Goodell and the NFL released a video apologizing on behalf of the league for not doing a better job of listening to players’ concerns about racial inequality.

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