Earlier this week, the NFL announced that it will be committing $250 million over the course of the next 10 years to help fund programs aiming to fight systemic racism. This is part of their continuing response to the nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality that was sparked in late November by the murder of a black man in Minnesota by a group of police officers.
Prior to a star-studded video of NFL players calling upon the NFL to step up, the league had announced that it was raising its donation levels to $44 million, which would help fund 20 national programs working to achieve social justice, as well as a number of local programs. The $250 million figure is an expansion upon that.
This is a sizable and substantial amount of money, and that certainly should not be overlooked by any means. A lot of good can be done with $250 million, or $25 million a year. It is a relative sliver of the league’s revenue, however, for a billion-dollar industry, and comes out to less than $1 million per team per year, something like the equivalent of a bottom-of-the-roster player.
While the ownership ranks are predominantly white, Shad Khan is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he made a personal statement about these efforts. “As someone who has personally lived through episodes of racism and injustice, and can unfortunately relate to what the majority of the NFL players encounter on a daily basis, I can say with complete conviction that we now have a real effort at the NFL to bring real and overdue change”, he said.
“Results won’t come automatically”, he went on. “Success will require constant attention, partnership and hard work. But, as a league, we’ve never been in a better position to answer our obligation to the payers, everyone who loves the NFL, and to the community we serve”.
The article from NFL.com even notes that the league is open to working with Colin Kaepernick about how to best utilize these resources. The former NFL quarterback has already given substantial time and money to similar efforts of his own accord.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the work Colin and other players have led off”, the article quotes an anonymous party as saying on this topic. “We heard them and launched a social justice platform because of what Colin was protesting about. The players have always been an essential piece of this effort and this campaign. It would be awesome to engage Colin on some of the work we are doing. He’s doing real impactful work. Getting him in some way would be amazing for us. There’s a lot of work to do to get to that point. We’re certainly open and willing to do that”.
Meanwhile, Peter Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks said that one team recently contacted him about their experience of bringing in Kaepernick for a visit (but not a workout) a few years ago, and said that he believes at least that team is interested in signing him. He held a public workout last November, and those in attendance said that he looked to be in shape. Mike Florio recently reported that he is more motivated than ever to play again. He last played in 2016.