The NFL is committing $250 million over 10 years to social justice initiatives, targeting what it calls “systemic racism” and supporting “the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African Americans.”
The league, which has raised $44 million in donations through its Inspire Change program, announced the additional $206 million commitment Thursday. It plans to “work collaboratively with NFL players to support programs to address criminal justice reform, police reforms, and economic and educational advancement.”
Less than a week ago, Commissioner Roger Goodell denounced racism in a video prompted greatly by a players’ video seeking NFL action.
“I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family,” he said.
The players want to see definitive action, of course. There has been increasing distrust of the NFL since San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest social injustice and police brutality. The message was misconstrued by the league and many team owners as anti-military and anti-flag. Goodell admitted as much in his video, though never mentioning Kaepernick, who has not found an NFL job the last three seasons.
That distrust was expressed Wednesday by 49ers star cornerback Richard Sherman.
“They’ve tried their best to throw money behind it for a long time,” he said. “It takes more than that. It takes you literally calling out bigotry and being motivated.”
The NCAA football oversight committee Thursday finalized a plan for an extended preseason that would include an additional two weeks for teams to hold walk-throughs.
The proposed model goes to the Division I Council, which the NCAA said will act on it Wednesday. The proposal is expected to pass.
With the pandemic wiping out spring practice for most teams, along with the usual required summer activities for players such as weigh training and film study, a plan was needed to make up for the lost preparation time.
A proposed schedule had been circulating among NCAA members during the last week. Oversight committee chairman Shane Lyons, who is athletic director at West Virginia, told AP a few final tweaks were made Thursday.