On the heels of admitting the NFL was wrong on their stance concerning the players kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the League would be marking June 19 – Juneteenth – as a holiday including closing its offices.
Juneteenth is often marked with festivals and celebrations. The annual event is in celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States in 1865. President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address to announcing the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 announcing the end of slavery and on June 19, 1865 Union solders announced in Galveston, Texas that the Civil War had ended and so had slavery.
Goodell issues a statement saying, “this year, as we work together as a family and in our communities to combat the racial injustices that remain deeply rooted into the fabric of our society, the NFL will observe Juneteenth on Friday, June 19th as a recognized holiday and our league offices will be closed. It is a day to reflect on our past, but more importantly, consider how each one of us can continue to show up and band together to work toward a better future.”
Last week the NFL announced that they would be donating $250 million over the next 10 years to help combat racism and battle injustice toward African Americans.