The NFL will join other sports leagues around the nation this season and use their facilities and resources to promote social justice and condemn racism in America.
On a conference call on Tuesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will imprint “End racism” and “It takes all of us” in the end zones at each stadium during the 2020 season.
“The NFL stands with the Black community, the players, clubs and fans confronting systemic racism,” Goodell said. “We will not relent in our work.”
However, the end zone designs is just one way the league will promote social justice this season.
According to the Associated Press, the NFL will also allow similar visuals to be worn on players’ helmets and as patches on team caps. Players can choose either the name of a victim or one of four pre-approved phrases from the league to display on their helmets or caps: “Stop hate,” “It takes all of us,” “End racism” or “Black Lives Matter.” Coaches and on-field officials may wear the same.
Additionally, a t-shirt design by NFL Players Association executive committee member and Houston Texans safety Michael Thomas may be worn by players during warm-ups. The shirt says, “Injustice against one of us is injustice against all of us” on the front and “End racism” on the back.
The NFL now joins a number of other sports leagues in using their playing fields to portray social justice messages. The NBA and WNBA both had “Black Lives Matter” written on their courts during their bubble play.
Major League Baseball stamped “BLM” on the pitcher’s mound for Opening Day.
D.C. United players painted “I can’t breathe” and “BLM” across Audi Field following George Floyd’s death. And the NHL has displayed similar messages on the jumbotrons in their bubbles ahead of their playoff matchups.
Now with the NFL back in action weeks into training camp, franchises have taken actions against racism individually as well. Multiple teams boycotted practices or held meetings to discuss social-justice issues following the shooting of Wisconsin man Jacob Blake.