As national anthem protests have come to the forefront of the NFL this season, current and former players are asking commissioner Roger Goodell to take a stand and support their cause of fighting racism and social injustice.
A group of former and current players sent Goodell and executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent a 10-page memo in August asking the league to participate in a wide-ranging list of social activism initiatives, including: participating in PSAs, meet with — and potentially finance — certain organizations and dedicate November as activism awareness month, among other actions, according to Yahoo Sports.
It is unclear how Goodell and Vincent responded to the memo and if they agreed to any of the initiatives listed.
The memo was endorsed by Seahawks defensive Michael Bennett, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, recently-retired receiver Anquan Boldin and Eagles receiver Torrey Smith.
Michael Bennett is one of four current and former players who endorsed the memo.
(Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports)
Bennett and Jenkins have both protested during the national anthem in some manner this season. Jenkins and Boldin also recently appeared in a PSA explaining the reason behind many of these national anthem protests occurring in the NFL.
All four have been outspoken in addressing a variety of social justice issues.
The 10-page memo was broken down into three major parts: an overview of the current state of player activism, a call to action asking the NFL support players in this activism and a request for the NFL to devote the month of November to activism awareness.
Malcolm Jenkins has raised his right fist in the air during the national anthem prior to games this season.
“To be clear, we are asking for your support,” a portion of the memo reads, per Yahoo Sports. “We appreciate your acknowledgement on the call regarding the clear distinction between support and permission. For us, support means: bear all or part of the weight of; hold up; give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act.
“We need support, collaboration and partnerships to achieve our goal of strengthening the community. There are a variety of ways for you to get involved. Similar to the model we have in place for players to get involved, there are three tiers of engagement based on your comfort level. To start, we appreciate your agreement on making this an immediate priority. In your words, from Protest to Progress, we need action.”
The memo was sent in response to Goodell talking directly with several players in August regarding moving player activism into a progressive direction, according to Yahoo Sports.
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