Dear Mr. Goodell,
We don’t know each other. I am writing you as a leader of a group of people to encourage you to think a bit more creatively about your considering some type of requirement in the NFL which would require players to stand during the national anthem.
I would encourage you to think about leading this strategy in a different way. Some kind of punitive solution is only going to alienate you and the NFL from a lot of people who would like to see a different approach to the issue.
Mr. Goodell, why not meet with the players who are choosing to kneel and ask them, “What might we do TOGETHER to use our public voice to address racism in our culture?” Can you imagine what it would look like for you to exercise leadership which asks those who feel excluded to offer their perspective?
I find that when I take the time to listen to those who are expressing concerns that I learn a lot.
You can change the narrative. Think about it.
The Rev. Kent Siladi
Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ
Rev. Kent Siladi is the Director of Philanthropy for the National Office of the United Church of Christ.