Former NFL player and Utah congressman Burgess Owens told Roger Goodell

Former professional soccer player and Utah parliamentarian Roger Goodell endorsed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a hearing about the league’s long-standing prejudice against black athletes.

Republican Rep. Burgess Owens, who won the Super Bowl at the Oakland Raiders, said racism was widespread when he joined the league in 1973.

Leadership and intelligence positions such as quarterbacks, centers, middle linebackers, free safety and head coaches were considered off limits to black players, he said. Doug Williams finally broke the “white quarterback” wall as the NFL’s first black quarterback to win the Super Bowl in 1988, he said.

“Still, Commissioner, decades later, despite all this progress in and out of the field, we, under your watch, re-discuss the NFL’s involvement in racism behind the scenes. “We have been forced to do so,” Owens told Goodell during house oversight and reform.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell effectively testified in a hearing by the Washington Commanders’ House Oversight Committee on Work Behavior at Capitol Hill, Washington, Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Associated Press Photo / Jacquelyn Martin

The hearing was held to investigate the NFL’s response to workplace misconduct in the Washington Commanders organization.

After 10 years of safety at the New York Jets and the Raiders, Owens has chased Goodell in the past. He was harshly critical of the player’s protests in the league and said that the only thing that could change the NFL was another commissioner.

At a hearing, a new member of parliament criticized the league for racial prejudice in testing black athletes seeking compensation for concussion-induced brain damage. He expressed his resentment at using “race noming” in dementia testing. This assumes that blacks begin with cognitive decline and have difficulty demonstrating football-related mental decline.

“Doctors had to use race-based norms that assumed that black players were inherently less intelligent than white teammates. If this sounds like a reversion to the Jim Crow law in the Deep South, That’s why, “Owen said at a hearing.

Two black athletes have filed civil rights proceedings against the NFL. In June 2021, the League announced that it would stop using racial norms in the $ 1 billion settlement of brain injury claims and review past scores for potential racial bias.

As a result of the practice, the NFL compensated injured black soccer players and their families less than white players and their families, Owens said.

“It’s definitely a perfect example of true racism to say that black athletes should be judged on the basis of lower brain function criteria than their white teammates,” he said.

Owens held Goodell accountable.

“In honor, Commissioner, you’re steering the industry. That culture once united us — both fans and players. Sadly, that’s no longer the case,” he said. rice field.

At the hearing, Owens said it had long been his dream to ask Goodell some questions. He asked the Commissioner to admit that the NFL used racism and that it was involved in systematic racism, but either cut him off when he tried to answer or about him. We talked.

“Doctors didn’t have to use these standards, they adopted the new standards adopted by federal judges,” Goodell said before Owens interrupted him.

“So why was it used?” Owens asked.

Gooddel, who attended the hearing via a video conference, replied, “This is a medical standard that goes far beyond the NFL.”

“Let’s say this really quickly on behalf of my black and white brothers who gave their careers to make sure we got over racism. This is atrocities,” Owens said. Said. “The fact that the NFL judged blacks intellect differently than whites is noteworthy.”

Goodell tried to respond, but the committee went ahead before he could speak.

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