The NFL got a lot of backlash on Sunday after airing an “Inspire Change” video touting their work on “racial justice” and “policing.” For most of the season the league has run versions of the ad that chronicle their work with local communities and police interactions.
The ad that aired on Super Bowl Sunday was a bit longer and fleshed out more of what the league was doing as part of its commitment to donate $250 million “to combat systemic racism and support the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African-Americans.”
While our season is ending, our fight for equity is not.
It takes all of us to create change and advance social justice.
— Inspire Change (@InspireChange) February 8, 2021
Online, there was significant backlash to the ad because it left out the one person responsible for the league committing so much money to the cause: Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick was trending on Twitter after the ad as many people noted that he is still being left out of the league despite some historically terrible quarterbacks getting chances this season.
When asked about the league’s social justice work, he noted that Kaepernick’s protest “obviously brought a great deal of attention to this, and, for that, he deserves our recognition for that and appreciation.”
“I said very clearly back in June that we wish we had listened to our players earlier, and we had a lot of players that were coming and bringing these issues to us. It didn’t start last summer; it started over two years ago and we’ve been working with the Players Coalition over that period of time,” Goodell told reporters on Feb. 4 according to The Mercury News.
Yet no mention of Kaepernick was made during the ad, enraging many.
Happy Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day!
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) February 8, 2021
While some derisively called Super Bowl Sunday “Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day!” like legend Mariah Carey, others had more pointed criticisms of the ad.