Recently, the National Football League (NFL) has pledged $250M, or a quarter of a billion dollars, in donations to various grant partners over the next decade. The funds are ostensibly dedicated to supporting various social causes, with Week 17 and Week 18 of the regular season this year dedicated to the “Inspire Change” cause, otherwise known as the NFL’s social justice campaign.
During these weeks, all 32 teams will have the opportunity to illuminate work completed in their respective communities regarding social change, as reported by CBS Sports.
Currently, the NFL has 27 different grant partners, and the league intends to add additional partners in the fall, once it provides an announcement regarding the next round of funding.
The “Inspire Change” partners include numerous groups that have resoundingly advocated for varied “Defund Police” movements, as reported by Fox News.
These partners include the Community Justice Exchange, the Oregon Justice Resource Center, and the Vera Institute of Justice.
According to Nicholas Turner, the President of the Vera Institute, the organization is dedicated “to dismantling the current culture of policing and working toward solutions that defund police and shift power to communities.”
Thus, the funds delegated to the group by the NFL openly support defunding police as well as a range of other revisions to the justice system, such as “[advancing] racial equity,” “[ending] the catastrophic rise of incarceration in small cities and rural counties,” “[researching] in partnership with community members and system stakeholders,” and, lastly, “[reinvesting] in supports and resources that build … healthy and vibrant communities.”
Moreover, the NFL also provided a $300,000 donation to the Oregon Justice Resource Center, though it is unclear how many funds were delegated to the Community Justice Exchange and the Vera Institute of Justice, as reported by Fox News.
Both the Community Justice Exchange and the Vera Institute have served as NFL grantees since 2020, while the Oregon Justice Resource Center received its initial funding from the NFL in the past year, according to Fox News.
The Community Justice Exchange openly declares that it is aiming for a world free of policing and prisons, as well as “prosecution, surveillance, or any form of detention or supervision,” per the group’s official website.
In addition, the Oregon-based group also manages the National Bail Fund Network. This network in turn has multiple chapters, including the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which bailed out multiple looters and rioters during the massive crime spree in 2020. Kamala Harris has openly promoted the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
Consequently, the NFL’s financial support involves providing money to over 75 “local community-based bail and bond funds,” apparently in order “to end money bail and pre-trial detention at the local level and immigration detention at the national level,” as stated directly on the NFL’s official “Inspire Change” website.
In response to critics, the NFL provided a statement doubling down on its support of various “defund police” programs.
“Our 33 social justice grant partners have been selected based on the critical work that they have done surrounding Inspire Change’s four pillars,” the league announced pompously, declaring that one of its “four pillars” includes “police & community relations.”
The NFL claims that its support helps “break down barriers to opportunity,” as well as “end systemic racism.”
“We stand by the work our grant partners have done,” the NFL declared.