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#pounditSaturday, May 18, 2024

NFL players ‘disappointed’ with league’s efforts on social justice reform

Roger Goodell

Most of the reports we have heard about last week’s meetings between NFL players, executives and team owners regarding national anthem protests have been positive, but apparently there has not been as much progress made as initially believed.

Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman Russell Okung, one of several player who attended the players-owners meetings in New York last week, said Thursday that he is “disappointed” in the lack of progress the league has made.

“I am disappointed that further progress has not been reached on discussions with the league,” Okung said, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “NFL officials appear unmotivated and don’t share the same sense of urgency. Increasingly, the meetings appear unproductive at best and disingenuous at worst. Furthermore, the ongoing disparagement of Colin Kaepernick is a factor needing remedy for the players and public to feel heard and for real progress to be made.”

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported on Sunday that the NFL is planning to have a “Social Awareness Month” next season and was prepared to unveil some social awareness initiatives for the coming weeks, but Okung indicated that is not the case — at least yet.

“I thought there were concrete plans to help,” he said. “To my dismay, that wasn’t true at all. It’s only remained as just talking. There hasn’t been any action.

“It’s disappointing, because anytime the NFL says it cares about something, like breast cancer awareness, domestic violence, concussions, it comes out in force. So far we haven’t seen that.”

Okung said the league has helped with efforts to promote individual players within their communities, but he and other players have been discouraged with league officials talking and not acting.

A report this week indicated NFL players want Kaepernick to have a bigger role in discussions with the league, so you have to wonder if NFL officials were not receptive to that. Whatever the case, it sounds like it is more than just one team owner that is frustrating the players.

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