End Zone Messages
The NFL announced an effort to display social justice slogans in end zones this season. The two slogans slated to be featured are, “It Takes All Of Us,” and “End Racism.” These messages, however, will not be limited to the new field designs, but the NFL will also feature similar messages on the side of player helmets.
The new movement in the NFL to stand against racism also allows players to wear a shirt with the message, “Injustice against one of us is injustice against all of us,” on the front, while the back displays, “End racism.” This T-Shirt was designed by Michael Thomas, a safety with the Houston Texans who is also an executive committee member with the NFL Players Association.
This decision follows the lead of other sports leagues in America that have done something similar, most notably the WNBA. The messages displayed on the field, helmet, and on warm-up T-Shirts are an effort to keep the focus on racial injustice and police brutality in America, but the demonstration may sound similar to football fans everywhere.
Too Little Too Late
The NFL’s response to the recent wave of demonstrations against the state of unjust policing becomes almost comical when you remember their reaction to Colin Kaepernick’s non-violent demonstration over 2 years ago, protesting the same issue. Instead of genuinely embracing the message, the league allegedly blackballed the former 49er quarterback. While there are arguments to be made about his talent, and whether his playstyle would fit with any other team outside of San Francisco, the protest issue seemed to be the elephant in the room. Now, the NFL has introduced its initiative to raise awareness, months behind other leagues in what seems to be a reactionary move. While the message is absolutely important in America, the root of the problem has yet to be solved, but hopefully, with the combined effort of athletes, entertainers, and of course the people, meaningful change will come from actions like these.