In a bid to convince players to stand during the National Anthem, the NFL has promised to donate nearly $100 million to causes important to the black community.
The proposal allocates $89 million for national and local projects though 2023, including a $500,000 per annum donation from each team (half coming from the players themselves). National funding would go to the Dream Corps (25%), the United Negro College Fund (25%), and the Players Coalition (50%).
“Money at both the national and local level would provide grants for nonprofit organizations focused on law enforcement and community relations, criminal justice reform, and education reform,” reports ESPN.
Some players view the proposal as hush money, while others see it as an unprecedented offer to help fund social justice charities.
Disagreements over the proposal caused San Francisco safety Eric Reid and Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas to withdraw from the Players Coalition.
The Players Coalition, founded by Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins and retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin, is a group of about 40 players who have spent more than a year silently protesting social injustices and racism.
“We will continue to have dialogue with the league to find equitable solutions, but without Malcolm and Anquan as our representative,” said Reid, who was the first player to kneel beside Kaepernick last year.
According to the Washington Post, players reached a “tentative agreement” with the league on Wednesday.
“There is no quid pro quo between the NFL and the Players Coalition that players will cease protesting in exchange for financial support from the owners,” noted ESPN’s Jim Trotter. “The league understands that some players will continue to protest, but it is seeking to move forward anyway.”
Jenkins told reporters Wednesday that he would stop protesting if he is able to come to terms with the league. “For me personally, this whole protest has been to draw awareness. So if the league is proposing something I feel like can replace that or amplify that voice then I see no need in me continuing to protest, but those conversations are still being had.”
Reid, however, said the NFL’s current terms are not enough to end his protest.
This whole thing started last season when 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the National Anthem to protest racial inequality issues, such as the mistreatment of black people by law enforcement.
NFL ratings dropped nearly 20% as more players joined the protest.
President Trump criticized the protestors through social media, blamed them for disrupting the country and the military. He also urged the NFL to ban all protests, something the organization might be forced to do if the buyout doesn't work.
Kaepernick, by the way, is still out of a job.
Author’s Note: This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. The NFL should have stopped Kaepernick in the beginning and told him to protest on his own time. Now, the NFL is essentially being extorted by its own players. If their offer of $100 million won’t please them, I don’t know what will.