Report: NFL Plans To Allow Players To Place Social Justice Decals On Helmets During Season
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NFL plans to allow its players to place social justice decals on their helmets during the 2020 season, according to ESPN’s Jason Reid.
Since June 2020, the league and the NFL Players Association have been discussing ways to be involved with social justice efforts during the upcoming schedule.
“The NFL is planning to allow players to have decals n the back of their helmets bearing names or initials of victims of systemic racism and police violence,” an NFL source told Reid.
The NFL is planning to allow players to have decals on the back of their helmets bearing names or initials of victims of systemic racism and police violence, a league source told @JReidESPN. https://t.co/kRsfbBNUVv
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 21, 2020
NFL & Social Justice Efforts
In early July, ESPN’s The Undefeated reported that “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” which is traditionally known as the Black national anthem, will be performed live or played prior to kickoff of every NFL game during the opening week of the 2020 season.
The NFL recently announced that it would be donating $250 million over the next 10 years to “combat systemic racism and support the battle against injustices faced by African Americans.”
The NFL pledged a quarter of a billion dollars towards the fight against racial justice on Thursday, June 11.
“There was just a real desire to put another stake in the ground and say, we’re not done here yet. There is so much more work to do and this is not a short term problem we can fix in the next couple of years,” a person familiar with the league’s program told NFL.com‘s Judy Battista. “What are we doing to make sure we see change over that period of time. It is real action being taken here. It is not just dollars.”
Proof that the NFL is trying to work on this issue not just now but for years to come: pic.twitter.com/vzg6uu5Rt8
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 11, 2020
The league’s pledged donation arrived after weeks of nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. On May 25, Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
On June 5, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released an apology video admitting the league was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv
— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first spoke out against racial injustice and police brutality in 2016. Kaepernick began to protest those issues by kneeling during the national anthem before the start of NFL games.
Kaepernick last played in an NFL game on January 1, 2017.
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According to the person familiar with the league’s program, the NFL “would be willing to work with Kaepernick on social justice initiatives.”
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the work Colin and other players have led off,” the person told NFL.com. “That is a key point here. We listened to our players. We needed to listen more, we needed to move faster. We heard them and launched a social justice platform because of what Colin was protesting about. The players have always been an essential piece of this effort and this campaign. It would be awesome to engage Colin on some of the work we are doing. He’s doing real impactful work. Getting him in some way would be amazing for us. There’s a lot of work to do to get to that point. We’re certainly open and willing to do that.”
— NFL (@NFL) June 11, 2020
In its first seasons of an agreement with the Players Coalition, “the NFL has already donated $44 million to fund social justice work” sources told The Undefeated.
The 2020 NFL season is currently scheduled to kick-off when the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans on Thursday, September 10.