NFL to give $100M to social justice causes

During a season of controversy over national anthem protests, the NFL and the players reached a tentative agreement late Wednesday night to come together on a plan to address social justice issues considered important to black communities, according to multiple reports.

The deal calls for the NFL to contribute nearly $100 million over seven years to projects concerning criminal justice reform, law enforcement, community relations and education.

The agreement does not include language calling for players to end protests during the anthem in exchange for funds and is not an implicit quid pro quo.

Nevertheless, the league hopes this effort effectively will end the peaceful yet controversial movement that former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started in 2016, when he refused to stand for the anthem.

Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin — the leaders of the roughly 40 players who have negotiated with the league about demonstrations during the anthem — guided the group through the highlights of the package during a late-night conference call.

Even if the agreement goes through, it is unlikely to end the anthem protests. Earlier, 49ers safety Eric Reid and Dolphins safety Michael Thomas withdrew from the players coalition. Reid, who was the second NFL player to protest alongside Kaepernick and said he speaks to the ex-NFL quarterback “every day,” said he has had a problem with the way Jenkins and Boldin have run the coalition.

The expected agreement will represent the NFL’s largest contribution to a social cause, surpassing that of Salute to Service or Breast Cancer Awareness/Crucial Catch.

Lance Fuller

Lance Fuller

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