It looks like the NFL is following through on its promise to advance the causes its players have been fighting for all season during their national anthem protests.
League officials and several players have come to an agreement to join together in a plan to address issues regarding social justice deemed important by predominantly Black communities. The agreement includes the donation of $89 million by the NFL over the course of 7 years to projects which deal with education, criminal justice reform, and relations between law enforcement in communities.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who headed a group of approximately 40 players during negotiations regarding the league’s approach to player protests, guided the group through the highlights of the agreements, which is now the largest monetary contribution to any social cause. Although the agreement does not directly indicate a request to end the player protests, league officials do hope that it will quell the tensions between players and league officials on the issue.
Over the next 7 years, the $89 million will be contributed through both national and local causes. In terms of the national level, team owners will allocate $5 million, an amount which will increase annually before capping out at $12 million every year from 2021 to 2023. On the local level, both team owners and their organization’s players will evenly split a $500,000 donation, with the ability to increase that amount if they so choose. They will also be participating in other fundraising opportunities through events like jersey auctions and telethons.
The total $73 million to be donated on the national level has been approved, although owners must still vote on the matching-funds aspect of local-level donations. This vote will take place during their March meetings, after the 2017-18 season ends.
Of that $73 million, 50% will go to the Players Coalition, 25% to United Negro College Fund, and 25% to Dream Corps.The Players Coalition recently hired The Hopewell Fund to advise and oversee the group in the aim of working with non-profits and grass-root organizations.
This is a huge step in the right direction for the league which has faced an insane amount of adversity over the past few months, with players, team owners, and league officials at each other’s throats due to the protests. This is sure to somewhat mend relations between all involved quite a bit, and should also help in the pulling back of fans who have grown disillusioned from the NFL this season.