The NFL’s transition into a social justice organization is complete.
The league committed to fork over $89 million to social justice causes over the next seven years. Money will be sent to “projects dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education,” reports ESPN.
The NFL and a group of players reached an agreement in principle late Wednesday night to partner on a plan to address social justice issues considered important to African-American communities, ESPN has learned.
The unprecedented agreement calls for the league to contribute $89 million over seven years to projects dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education.
During a conference call Wednesday night, Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin, who lead roughly 40 players who have negotiated with the league office about demonstrations during the national anthem, guided the group through the highlights of the package, which represents the NFL’s largest contribution to a social issue, surpassing that of Salute to Service or Breast Cancer Awareness/Crucial Catch.
The partnership came a day after some players broke away from the Players Coalition because of their dissatisfaction with how Jenkins and Boldin have handled negotiations. Commissioner Roger Goodell, believing that an agreement was at hand, was furious when ESPN reported that players were breaking off, according to one source. But during an afternoon call, Jenkins asked that the commissioner and the owners continue to stand with the players and allow them to do important work in the community.
According to the news network, no agreement was reached that would result in the end to the take a knee protests.
Under the league’s proposal, the $89 million has been earmarked over a seven-year period for both national and local projects. On the national level, owners this year will allocate $5 million, with their commitment growing annually and maxing out at $12 million per year from 2021 through 2023.
At the local level, owners would put up $250,000 annually and expect players to match that amount, totaling $500,000 for each team. Players and owners can exceed that amount if they choose, with no matching requirement. In addition, there would be other fundraising opportunities, including telethons and auctions of jerseys worn in games.
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