Many have said now is the most divided the United States of America has ever been. Whether you agree with that or not, social activism has certainly come to the forefront of NFL discussion ever since Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem in silent protest.
In that same vein, four NFL players sent a memo to the league in an effort to make November a month to promote social activism. From the Yahoo! article:
The 10-page memo, obtained by Yahoo Sports, was sent to Goodell and executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent in August, requesting wide-ranging involvement in their movement from the NFL. The memo seeks an investment of time and education, political involvement, finances and other commitments from the league. It also sought to have the NFL endorse the month of November as an activism awareness month, similar to the periods of league calendar dedicated to breast cancer awareness and military recognition.
It was endorsed by four players: Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, former Buffalo Bills wideout Anquan Boldin and Eagles wideout Torrey Smith.
A league spokesperson declined to comment on the memo or Goodell’s communication with specific NFL players. The four players who co-authored the letter either didn’t return requests for comment or declined to speak about it, citing an agreement to keep direct communications with Goodell private.
It should come as no surprise that Bennett is involved. He has been a vocal supporter of Kaepernick’s for the duration of his protest. He also had an incident with Las Vegas Police recently that caused him to be even more vocal about social activism than in the past.
Supposedly, this memo was in response to a conversation Roger Goodell had with the players in August “in an effort to move player activism into a progressive direction.” Read more on the memo at the Yahoo! article linked above.
This is a big step for the NFL and its players to prove how much good they can do for their communities. We need to come together to resolve our issues, and players and teams with such large platforms have a responsibility to use those platforms for good. As Uncle Ben said, with great power comes great responsibility.