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Anquan Boldin gives ‘kudos’ to Roger Goodell for support on social justice initiatives

Roger Goodell has long been considered part of the problem when it comes to the NFL’s inability to adequately commit to using its influence and power to address social justice issues such as racial inequality.

One former NFL player recently pushed back against the unflattering narrative concerning Goodell, saying he knows the commissioner as a person who does his best to learn about systemic racism, issues like police misconduct and the activism necessary to foster real change.

Anquan Boldin recently opened up about how Goodell has actively lended his support to the former NFL wide receiver’s pursuit of social justice initiatives.

“I can tip my hat to Roger because he’s come along on several of those occasions,” Boldin said during an appearance on “The Daily Show” this week. “He’s come along with us when we’ve spoken to people in positions of power. He’s come and tried to see, while we were doing court hearings, like what’s the process. 

“I can give him kudos for trying to understand what exactly it is that we’re talking about, trying to step outside of his self and put his self in our shoes and understand the issues that we’re screaming about.”

Boldin is the co-founder of the NFL Players Coalition, which he launched in 2017 with current New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins. The organization’s goal is to make an “impact on social justice and racial equality at the federal, state and local levels through advocacy, awareness, education, and allocation of resources,” per its site.

Boldin also noted during his appearance on “The Daily Show” that Goodell has taken trips with the Players Coalition to meetings and other events over the years, which the longtime NFL star appreciates.

Goodell and the NFL have come under fire in recent weeks for their response amid the outcry following the death of George Floyd on May 25 while in the custody of Minneapolis police. Such criticism is nothing new, of course, and Goodell has long been vilified for the league’s muted or nonexistent approach to addressing social justice issues.

In response to the most recent backlash, Goodell issued a video statement last Friday in which he said the NFL was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” adding that the league condemns “racism and the systematic oppression of Black People.”