On the heels of Bob McNair’s controversial “inmates running the prison” comment, a coalition of NFL players has extended an invitation to the Houston Texans owner, commissioner Roger Goodell and unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a Monday meeting in Philadelphia at which they hope to address players’ “immediate concerns before additional progress can be made.”
A copy of the letter was obtained by ESPN.
The coalition consists of 11 players, including Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin, that has been attending meetings with NFL executives in recent weeks.
“Many players have been deeply troubled by the disturbing comments made by Texans’ owner Bob McNair,” the letter said. “It is ironic that such a quote would emerge in the midst of an ongoing struggle to highlight injustices suffered by people of color, including our nation’s deeply flawed approach to criminal justice and inhumane treatment of imprisoned people. The events that have unfolded the past several days have upset and angered many players and continues to demonstrate the lack of seriousness that some league officials are approaching our discussions. It is this lack of earnest words and actions that provoke and reinforce the continuation of our protest.
“As long as the prevailing reality of our league includes a culture where owners feel such behavior and language is permissible, our cause will continue to be stifled and progress will remain elusive. This isn’t about being a player or a club owner -but basic human decency.
“Regardless of our views, our disappointment and our frustration, we believe dialogue remains the only path forward; though our patience is being continually disrespected and is wearing thin.
The coalition called the proposal of the meeting “an act of good faith.”
“Until the league publicly demonstrates its commitment to an actual process of listening to our grievances; we will continue to peacefully demonstrate for equality and justice for all,” the letter said.
It was not immediately known if McNair, Goodell or Kaepernick would attend.
Information from ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson was used in this report.
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