The public shift, in reality, began with employee frustration that dates back to 2016. That’s when Kaepernick first took a knee to protest racial injustice and police brutality. The aftermath, Toney says, was “crazy and scary at times.” The league, in many ways, attempted to suppress protests. Internally, some employees weren’t happy with its response.
Almost four years later, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the same topics arose again. In deep conversations, social staffers dreamed up their ideal NFL response. While acknowledging it was a “fool’s errand,” they crafted strong, pointed statements — the type they hoped the league would release. Then, last Saturday, they had to hit send on the actual one, which, Minter says, “we felt was empty.”
Story length: words
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