National Football League commits millions of dollars to social justice causes


Malcolm Jenkins

The league and teams are to provide approximately $90 million to $100 million between the onset of the arrangement and 2023 to social causes deemed important by the players, focused in particular on African American communities, a person familiar with the talks confirmed earlier Wednesday. For them, the funds are an attempt to buy off protesters, encouraging players to stand up for the national anthem in exchange for donations.

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins says that he will no longer raise his fist during the national anthem as his way of protesting social injustice in the United States, according to Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Reid says that he was asked if he would stop kneeling for the anthem in light of the NFL's proposal, according to ESPN's Jim Trotter and Jason Reid.

Trump has branded the league as "weak" for not requiring players to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner". While Jenkins and other players have agreed to the deal, players like Eric Reid and Michael Thomas have chose to drop out of the players coalition.

"That's just an individual decision for me", Jenkins said. Dolphins safety Michael Thomas and 49ers safety Eric Reid disagree and withdrew from the coalition because they don't think the agreement reached Wednesday best serves the interests of the players.

Reid is closely associated with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the players' protest movement last season.

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Reid also stated that he believes the NFL is trying to make the decision to fund these programs as easy as possible for the NFL, and that the league office pressured Jenkins into agreeing now in order to announce a deal prior to the December 13 owners' meeting where Roger Goodell's contract will be discussed.

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell was reportedly furious at the news that Reid and Thomas had withdrawn from the coalition.

"We would rather not be demonstrating or protesting", Jenkins said to SI in September.

Jenkins said each player across the league, including those in his NFL Players Coalition, can decide for themselves whether to continue demonstrating during the national anthem.

The unprecedented agreement calls for the league to contribute $89 million over seven years to projects dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education.

"My last communication with Kaepernick was that he was willing to kind of work alongside of us, support us, but in an informal way when it comes to the coalition", Jenkins said. Not only with the money that they've put up, because I think that's probably the least important part of the deal, but with the resources and platform that they proposed to build. "We're just going to shift this money from this area and just move it here'".

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