The NFL’s unhelpful attempt at standing for social justice is getting dragged by Twitter.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told NBC Sports that the league will paint “End racism” and “It takes all of us” in each stadium’s end zones for the upcoming season.
“The NFL stands with the Black community, the players, clubs, and fans confronting systemic racism,” Goodell told NBC Sports. “We will not relent in our work.”
The move is especially ironic, as the NFL iced out San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racism in 2016. Kaepernick hasn’t played since his contract with the 49ers ended in 2017, and hasn’t been picked up by other teams in the league since. Kaepernick’s protest inspired a nationwide movement of sitting out or kneeling during the anthem in support of the fight against systemic injustice. While the protest has been gaining popularity since Kaepernick first knelt four years ago, especially in wake of the global rallies for the Black Lives Matter movement, kneeling during the anthem has been condemned by conservatives like Donald Trump.
The NFL’s support of anti-racism seems especially paltry given its history of banning kneeling. The league reversed its decision in June this year, at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests that took place after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a white police officer.
Which is why the decision to stencil “End racism” on its fields faced so much backlash from Twitter users.
The NFL will also allow players to wear T-shirts that say “Injustice against one of us is injustice against all of us” and “End racism” during warmups. In addition, players will be allowed to decorate their helmets with decals of either the name of a victim of police brutality, or one of four NFL-approved phrases: “Stop Hate,” “It Takes All Of Us,” “End Racism,” and “Black Lives Matter.”
In an effort to raise awareness, the NFL will also feature a victim of police brutality’s story each week, but how and when is still unclear, Sports Illustrated reports.