That year, the NFL also began a program called Inspire Change that sends donations to groups focused on police-community relations, criminal justice reform, education, and economic advancement. Last year, the NFL said it nearly tripled its commitment to the program, pledging to spend up to $250 million in 10 years.
Amid protests sparked by Mr. Floyd’s death, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a videotaped message last year condemning racism and the systematic oppression of black people. His message came a day after a group of players released their own video calling on the league to send just such a message and “admit wrongdoing by silencing our players from peaceful protest”.
“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players before and encourage everyone to speak out and protest peacefully,” Mr. Goodell said in his speech. message. “We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”
Last year, the competition also honored Mr. Floyd, Ms. Taylor, Mr. Arbery and others through an initiative called ‘Say Their Stories’.
Mr McCarthy said on Saturday there had been no change in the league’s stance on kneeling during the national anthem. Players are “highly encouraged” to stand for the national anthem, he said, but the NFL has no plans to take action against those who choose to kneel, raise a fist or stay in the locker room.
“We have never fined a player” for kneeling, he said. “No player is ever disciplined.”
The slogans in the end zone, he said, will be used during every match, except those that honor specific goals. For example, during a “Salute to Service” game honoring the military, “End Racism” will be replaced with “Salute to Service” in one end zone and “It Takes All of Us” will remain in the other end zone, he said. .
“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the black national anthem played by the NFL for its opening week games last year, will be replayed before the start of the season’s first game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay. Buccaneers on Thursday, Mr McCarthy said. The song will also be played in the Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl and the NFL draft, he said.