NFL Dishes Out $20 Million in Grants to Social Justice Causes

AP Michael Perez (1)
AP Photo/Michael Perez

The NFL announced this week the list of various organizations that will receive nearly $2 million in “social justice grants.”

One of the recipients is the Civil Rights Corps which “empowers communities to change the unjust legal system.”

This brings the total of “social justice grants” by the NFL to $20 million for the year.

“As part of its ongoing Inspire Change platform, the National Football League today announced that eight social justice organizations are receiving grants, as approved by the joint NFL owner-player working group,” stated the press release announcing the contributions. “The grants, which total nearly $2 million, are part of a $20 million commitment from the NFL and its teams to social justice organizations during the 2018 calendar year. The $20 million is comprised of grants to social justice organizations from the NFL Foundation, social justice grants approved by the NFL owners-players working group, team and player contributions, and an ongoing financial commitment to the Players Coalition.”

According to the Civil Rights Corps Twitter page, they describe their mission as: “Innovative, systemic civil rights litigation aimed at resensitizing our culture to the injustices of the contemporary American legal system.”

The Civil Rights Corps tweeted on June 5, “It is a very slippery slope when we start to decide who does and does not have the fundamental rights of democracy based on what we see as the level of crime they commit.”

Aside from the CRC, a few of the other organizations receiving NFL grants focus on criminal justice reform as well.

Also getting an NFL grant is the “Alliance for Safety and Justice.”

According to the press release, this organization, “aims to win new safety priorities in states by reducing incarceration and barriers for people living with a past conviction, advancing policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, and expanding constituencies and support for justice reform.”

An organization called, “Gideon’s Promise” will also get funding.

According to the release, “Gideon’s Promise is building a public defender movement to amplify the voice of impacted communities and transform criminal justice.”

Also receiving funds is the Vera Institute of Justice, which is described as “a justice reform change agent studying problems, testing solutions, harnessing the power of evidence, and driving public debate to urgently build justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities.”

But not all organizations getting funds are related to criminal justice reform.

“Working together with the Players Coalition, the NFL continues to support programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity. Other organizations receiving NFL Social Justice grants thus far include Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), Dream Corps, Operation HOPE and the UNCF (United Negro College Fund),” according to the press release.

On the heels of the anthem protest movement started by former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick in the summer of 2016, the NFL Players Coalition was founded. In November of 2017, the NFL, at the behest of this coalition, contributed $89 million to initiatives dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education. The $89 million donation is spread out of seven years, and the grants come from this fund.

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