NFL to highlight players' work on equality issues
© Getty Images

The NFL announced Tuesday it would establish a council of players and owners to highlight league members' work on issues of racial justice and equality.

press release on the NFL's website details the "Let's Listen Together" campaign, which includes five current NFL team owners and five current or former players and plans to "focus on supporting programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity, with a priority on supporting improvements in education and economic development, community and police relations, and the criminal justice system."

ADVERTISEMENT

"The collaboration between the NFL and its players should be celebrated, as it’s the first professional league or entity that has taken the concerns of its players and put resources behind it,” said former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

“Our country has some real issues when it comes to social and racial equality that must be addressed. The only way these issues will get solved is to fight together."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has been sharply criticized by many, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE, for his handling of players' protests during the national anthem, said that he hoped the NFL could work with the committee in a "profound and unifying way."

“We are pleased to have developed a new initiative that focuses on creating meaningful solutions to improve our communities,” he said. 

“In developing this plan, we have taken the lead from our players and are honored to join them in this work. Their work has deepened our understanding of the unique platform we have to help advance progress in a profound and unifying way.”

Trump intensified a national controversy about players' protests of police violence and racism last September when he said during a campaign rally that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the anthem.

The remarks caused a ripple effect in the league, and dozens of players joined the protests in the weeks following his remarks.