NFL, NFLPA announce social justice initiatives, including working to establish polling places at stadiums

The NFL and NFL Players Association announced plans to take clear, actionable steps to help social justice initiatives.

Most of the plans included getting people out to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3, the date of the U.S. presidential election. Included in those was closing all team facilities that date to ensure everyone in the league has the opportunity to vote, and working with state officials to establish polling places at NFL stadiums.

The league’s reaction to social issues in 2020 is a stark difference from 2016, when it uncomfortably tried to figure out what to do about Colin Kaepernick and others kneeling during the national anthem, then never signed Kaepernick when he became a free agent the following offseason. Kaepernick would end up agreeing to a financial settlement on a collusion grievance.

The NFL and NFLPA’s plans for social justice initiatives

Here are the league’s announced plans, from its joint announcement with the NFLPA:

  • All NFL, NFLPA and club facilities will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 3, to ensure that every member of the NFL family has an opportunity to exercise the precious right to vote.

  • In the days leading up to the election, we will continue to sponsor non-partisan educational programs to ensure that our players, staff, and families know how to register, how to obtain absentee voting material, and are able to vote on Election Day.

  • We will support efforts in our communities to encourage people to vote, including by working with state officials to establish polling places at our stadiums. We will also identify safe and appropriate ways in which members of the NFL family can assist in election efforts.

  • We will devote the entirety of our one-hour program on NBC next Wednesday, Sept. 9, to providing a platform for our players and allies to discuss the work that we are doing together to advance social justice and equality. Additional details on this program to be announced at a later date.

  • Clubs and ownership will facilitate meetings between with state and local elected officials and leaders of law enforcement, to discuss steps that can be taken to reduce conflict and improve relations between law enforcement and members of the community.

  • The NFL and NFLPA will work together to support college education for the children of the victims who will be recognized by our players.

The announcement ended with a message from the league: “We are proud of our current and former players for the extraordinary work that they do in our communities. Club-owners, and employees are proud to support and work alongside the players to make our country better, fairer, and more equal.”

A Rams helmet sits next to NFL Logo at the Los Angeles Rams scrimmage. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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