In its effort to combat systemic racism, the NFL is expanding its commitment to social justice efforts and will donate $250 million over the next 10 years to "combat systemic racism and support the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African-Americans," it announced Thursday.
"The NFL and our clubs will continue to work collaboratively with NFL players to support programs to address criminal justice reform, police reforms, and economic and educational advancement," the NFL wrote in a press release. "In addition to the financial commitment, we will continue to leverage the NFL Network and all of our media properties to place an increased emphasis on raising awareness and promoting education of social justice issues to our fans and help foster unity."
According to NFL.com’s Judy Battista, the league has previously donated $44 million to social justice programs, which provided funding for 20 national grant partners and 350 local organizations selected by players and former players.
"[A] person familiar with the league's decision said conversations had taken place over the last week, with [Commissioner Roger] Goodell and owners wanting to make it clear that the league's commitment to social justice work was for the long term," Battista wrote. "The expanded commitment to the league's existing initiatives, said the person familiar with the program, should make clear that the NFL does not have an end date in sight for how long it will work on social justice causes."
The announcement comes after a video in which Goodell apologized for previous failures to support black NFL players and pledged to do more.
"It has been a difficult time for our country — in particular, black people in our country," Goodell said in the June 5 video. "First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the families who have endured police brutality. We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.
"I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country. Without black players, there would be no National Football League. And the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff. We are listening, I am listening and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family."