Roger Goodell praises players, fans while marking NFL’s 100th birthday
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shared a video message Thursday morning in which he wished a happy 100th birthday to the league he has overseen since 2006.
In a video shared via his personal Twitter account, Goodell marked how the NFL has hit the one-century mark after it was founded all the way back on Sept. 17, 1920.
Back then, the league was known as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before officially changing its name to the National Football League.
Happy 100th Birthday, @NFL pic.twitter.com/Tpsbo8NY2h— Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) September 17, 2020
In an address lasting just over one minute, Goodell thanked the over 25,000 players who have played in the league throughout the NFL’s existence. Just as important, however, the commissioner stresses that the league would be “nothing without” the “most loyal and passionate fans anywhere.”
The NFL of course celebrated its 100th season throughout the 2019 campaign with much pomp and circumstance, but Thursday is the century mark of when the league officially came into existence.
The league’s official Twitter account of course joined in on the 100th birthday celebration.
100 years ago today, the NFL was founded on September 17, 1920.— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2020
Join us in celebrating the NFL's 100th birthday! pic.twitter.com/yeWU1ymKed
The NFL also relayed some interesting factoids about the league’s remarkable existence.
Today commemorates 100 years of the NFL. Here's to another 100 years. pic.twitter.com/fZOGtSUZGG— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2020
The 2020 season does not come without some major challenges unprecedented in the league’s existence that are of course related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
What’s more, the NFL is undergoing a significant change in how it handles player activism amid league-wide outcry over the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police on May 25, among other recent high-profile incidents of police misconduct.
Part of this evolution involves the NFL’s more supportive stance on peaceful, but polarizing, pregame protests such as kneeling during the national anthem, which of course was front and center in Week 1 throughout the league.
It merits noting that Goodell issued a video statement in June in which he stated the league 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.”
In other words, the season in which the NFL celebrates the 100th birthday of its founding will be unlike any other in its storied history.