The NFL has released a new statement via its instagram account on Thursday night pledging a commitment to its players in their efforts to address systemic racism and change.
“This is a time of self-reflection for all – the NFL is no exception,” the NFL said in a posting to their instagram account. “We stand with the black community because Black Lives Matter. Through Inspire Change, the NFL, Players and our partners have supported programs and initiatives throughout the country to address systemic racism. We will continue using our platform to challenge the injustice around us. To date we have donated $44 million to support hundreds of worthy organizations. This year, we are committing an additional $20 million to these causes and we will accelerate efforts to highlight their critical work. We know that we can and need to do more.”
A collection of the NFL’s star black players released a pointed message on Thursday night imploring the NFL to follow through on those statements of support.
The group, which included Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Tyrann Mathieu, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley and many more, asked the league for their support in the fight against racism and systemic oppression, the silencing of protest stances that had come previously and a statement that supported Black Lives Matter.
With NFL teams releasing varying statements condemning the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and pledging to listen, learn and do more in the wake of social injustice, the players now appear intent on making sure the league and its teams now walk the walk as well so the statements aren’t reduced to empty gestures. The NFL isn’t going to overturn the four years of leaving Colin Kaepernick unsigned or forcing protest-minded players to remain in the locker room for the national anthem overnight. But they did acknowledge the systemic racial issues the black community is faced with and pledged that Black Lives Matter.