Anonymous NFL agents ripped the league for its alleged lack of effort over last year’s talk around addressing systemic racism and diversity in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized in June 2020 for “not listening to NFL players earlier” when it came to the Black Lives Matter movement. He also supported the players’ decision to kneel in protest against racism and oppression before the national anthem during games.
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The NFL played the Black national anthem before Week 1 games and allowed teams to put phrases like “end racism” in their end zone and players to put similar phrases or names of people affected by racism on their helmets.
The NFL agents told The Athletic in a story published Wednesday that “nothing” has changed since last year.
“Nothing. It’s all bulls—. The NFL does not care. They just want everyone to believe they care,” one agent told the outlet. “Same with player health. The same people are hiring the same people who will hire the same people.”
Another added: “Nothing. I think the NFL operates in a vacuum. Deal with the problem, spend money, move on. People forget.”
One agent said they hoped the talk can turn more into action rather than just the on-field protests.
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“I’m hoping it becomes less about protests and more about actions. What can players do on the education side and community side? Players get engaged, talk to law enforcement and help more (and) became aware who wants to get involved beyond #protest,” the agent said.
For what it’s worth, the NFL has increased its impact in communities since the start of 2021.
The NFL Foundation, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Super Bowl LV Host Committee committed $2 million to the Forever 55 social legacy initiative. Officials said in a news release: “Forever 55 represents the everlasting impression that Super Bowl LV will have on the Tampa community and focuses on six pillars of support including: the First 1,000 Days (Early Childhood Education); Fuel (Food Insecurity); Families (At-Risk, Unsheltered and Veterans); Fitness (Health and Wellness); Future (Sustainability) and Further (Systemic Justice).”
The NFL also worked with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Inspire Change Huddle Legacy Program ahead of the NFL Draft in Cleveland in hopes of making a positive impact on the community.
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The league is reportedly set to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” along with the “Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of games during Week 1 of the 2021 season again.