NFL pledges $250M over 10 years to fight systemic racism

NFL pledges $250M over 10 years to fight systemic racism

The NFL on Thursday evening announced that it was committing $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."

The quarter-billion dollar investment comes after league commissioner Roger Goodell last week apologized for not supporting player protests against police brutality in the past.

“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,” Goodell said at the time. “We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter."

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All of this comes after nationwide protests and unrest were sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. 

Protesters across the country not only mourned the killing of Floyd but also demanded systemic change occur to the country's law enforcement.

In 2016, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick brought the issue of police brutality into the national spotlight by kneeling in protest during the national anthem. The NFL and Goodell ultimately condemned Kaepernick's protest and the 49ers eventually cut him — he hasn't played in the league since.

"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 league said in its statement Thursday. "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."

Floyd's death has sparked an overall conversation about systemic racism in the U.S. On Wednesday, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its facilities and events.

Additionally, Michael Jordan and his brand, Jordan, pledged $100 million over the next decade to “organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”