Despite efforts by the NFL to show new sensitivity to progressive causes, the league isn’t putting its money where its mouth is.
Via Daniel Kaplan of TheAthletic.com the NFL’s political action committee (dubbed “Gridiron”) predominantly contributes to Republican efforts.
Per the report, Gridiron has made 63 donations to 52 congresspeople, senators, and political organizations to date in 2020. Of those contributions, 52 of those went to Republicans or Republican organizations. Only one of 18 donations made since August has gone to a Democratic candidate.
Gridiron has given the maximum contribution — $5,000 — to Georgia Senator David Perdue, who recently mocked the name of Senator (and Vice Presidential candidate) Kamala Harris at a rally. The donations were made before that incident; however, the league has said or done nothing to denounce the incident.
“They should either very quickly come forward and explain their actions [in giving to Perdue], which I think are inexplicable,” attorney Ben Meiselas, who represents Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, told Kaplan. “[T]hey should immediately . . . denounce candidates who espouse racist views, who joke about racist views or purportedly joke about race. Sadly, in the past they may have been given a pass, but hopefully with the change that’s been brought, they don’t get a pass.”
The league and most owners typically have contributed to political candidates and organizations supporting policies that undermine the interests of players and their communities. That has yet to become the focal point of player comments or protests. It seems inevitable that, eventually, players will begin to ask tough questions of those who say one thing but, when it comes to writing checks, do another.
NFL’s political action committee skews to the right when making donations originally appeared on Pro Football Talk