More than two decades after a violent and racially charged protest by African Americans in the 1960s, racism is still a major factor in how people feel about the NFL.
In a recent survey, more than three-quarters of respondents said they have a negative view of the league, including a high number of blacks.
For many Americans, the NFL is seen as a symbol of white privilege and racial inequality, with the national anthem often playing prominently on broadcasts and other content on cable networks.
Some have criticized the league for failing to address racism in the league in ways that would have made a difference.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was widely criticized during his tenure for not addressing the league’s history of racism and inequality, but he did address the issue of racism during his first year as commissioner.
The next year, he launched a national conversation about racism in American society.
While the NFL’s ratings have been declining in recent years, the league still enjoys a significant audience on cable television and in the country’s fastest-growing markets.
While many people still tune in to watch the games, there are some signs that the conversation has moved on.
In March, the first black NFL player in more than 20 years, Derrick Thomas, was arrested for assaulting a police officer in Minneapolis.
Goodell announced that he would retire from the league next year and that he will continue to address issues of racial injustice in the NFL, including racial profiling.
But it remains to be seen if the conversations about racism and racism in society will have a lasting impact on the way Americans feel about sports.