This morning, it was reported by Adam Schefter that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a league-wide memo that announced the official acknowledgement of Juneteenth as a holiday. League offices will be closed Friday June 19, the day on which Juneteenth is celebrated.
NFL will recognize Juneteenth as a holiday this year, Roger Goodell told the league in this email this morning: pic.twitter.com/sS0DYYk46c— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 12, 2020
“Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19th, commemorates the effective end of slavery in the United States,” says Goodell. “Though the Emancipation Proclamation, made effective by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863 declared that all persons held as slaves be freed, slavery persisted throughout the course of the Civil War. It was not until two and a half years later, on June 19th, 1865, when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas and declared the war to be over, that all those enslaved became free.”
The NFL joined Nike, who announced Juneteenth as a staff holiday on Thursday. With more and more prominent brands following in line, some believe it won’t be long until Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday.