Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, urging that the NFL and the FOP begin a collaborative effort, which our two organizations had previously agreed to, aimed at lighting a path forward and create a model to build stronger community relationships.
Mr. Roger S. Goodell
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Dear Commissioner Goodell,
I am writing today on behalf of the 351,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police to urge that we begin a collaborative effort, which our two organizations had previously agreed to, aimed at lighting a path forward and create a model to build stronger community relationships. This effort would have a particular emphasis on ensuring that minority members of these communities can feel safe when interacting with law enforcement, and are treated with the same dignity and respect afforded to all U.S. citizens.
Last January, I personally reached out to your senior staff members, including Jonathan D. Nabavi, Vice President Public Policy and Government Affairs, and offered to host a meeting with NFL players and members of the Fraternal Order of Police to have open discussions about these very important topics. The FOP’s Executive Director, Jim Pasco, has also had multiple conversations with your staff. Mr. Nabavi gave me his word that we would do so after the Super Bowl, but that never came to fruition. I realize that since then its been a very demanding time for the NFL, but I can assure you that it has been a very demanding time for us as well. However, in light of the present unrest in America, I hope that we could both agree that nothing is more important right now than reigniting our commitment to taking the necessary steps to facilitate a healthy, fact-based dialogue in order to start to repair and build relationships between communities of color and law enforcement.
I believe that had we had those conversations that we discussed both of our organizations would have had a collaborative framework to facilitate change and expand upon the actions set forth in the promise by Mr. Nabavi. This was a missed an opportunity to have a positive impact on the peaceful demonstrations, which were overshadowed by violence and destruction in the very communities that need our help the most.
Today, I watched the video statements that you released about the NFL’s position. While I agree with you, as much today as I did last January, that there needs to be meaningful discussion about these important social issues. I am very disappointed that the NFL’s commitment and that of the Players Association to start a dialogue with the Fraternal Order of Police was never mentioned. Without action, I believe that your statement on your position will result in more division instead of being the start of a strategy to create solutions.
In your message you stated that “without black players there would be no National Football League”. I certainly agree, but I would ask that you consider for a moment that every time the NFL players take the field at every NFL venue across the country, there are literally thousands of law enforcement officers providing safety and security for the your players, employees and fans.
I still believe that an FOP-NFL partnership can have a positive impact on our country and a particularly troubled time. If you share this belief, please let me know directly or through Executive Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.