National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell has admitted that they were wrong in the way they handled Colin Kaepernick's protest against police brutality of black people, which ultimately led to the quarterback to be without a club.
The demonstration is the latest in a series against police brutality and racism that have been held across the United States following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May.
Then, on Friday, Goodell took a different stance - bluntly admitting the National Football League was wrong for not listening to peaceful protests from players in the past. "We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter".
"I personally protest with you and want to be a part of the much needed change in this country". We, the National Football League admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. Two years ago, he praised the NFL's ban on taking the knee during the pre-game national anthem, saying: "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem".
After Brees backtracked and asked for "forgiveness", Trump tweeted that the star should have stuck to his original stance, while demanding "no kneeling" in the NFL. How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players?
In the opinion of many players across the league and, according to sources who spoke to The Athletic on Friday, numerous league's own employees: It, and more directly, commissioner Roger Goodell, said nothing at all.
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season and settled a collusion grievance that he filed accusing the league and franchise owners of conspiring improperly to keep him out the sport.
Trump, on Friday, criticised Brees' decision to publicly apologise over his comments about "disrespecting the flag", referring to players kneeling in a pose which has become a symbol of the fight for racial justice in the United States.
As Trump revisited attacks on Kaepernick, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed regret for being critical of the movement.
The players have spoken and their message is not to be taken lightly.
All of the players lay out the groundwork for the National Football League to redeem themselves. The owners and league discarded a modified anthem policy to which they had agreed in May 2018. The NFL has threatened in the past to impose fines on players who kneel and teams that permit kneeling.
What's the story behind Kaepernick's kneeling?
But it was what went unsaid that people online seized upon.