Players divided over NFL's plan to donate millions to social justice groups

01 December, 2017, 06:41 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Colin Kaepernick

The league and teams are to provide approximately $90 million to $100 million between the onset of the arrangement and 2023 to social causes deemed important by the players, focused in particular on African American communities, a person familiar with the talks confirmed earlier Wednesday. Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and former National Football League wide receiver Anquan Boldin are viewed as the leaders of the Players Coalition.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been extremely active in the discussions and has been dealing directly with players, especially those in a group known as the Players Coalition that is led by Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

"And if we're able to amplify our voices to showcase those causes, those issues, to highlight grass-roots organizations who are doing the work and need support, to tell the stories of those people who have been wronged or left out, I think that's even more valuable than the cash amount".

Reid says that he was asked if he would stop kneeling for the anthem in light of the NFL's proposal, according to ESPN's Jim Trotter and Jason Reid.

Reid added that the group relayed concerns to Jenkins about the way the Players Coalition was being managed.

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Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas and San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid said Wednesday that they are breaking away from the Players Coalition, saying they "don't believe the coalition's beliefs are in our best interests as a whole". The league arranged a meeting with the Players Coalition in October, in the wake of the president's comments about player protests, to discuss the protests and how to address them.

Reid views than NFL's offer differently than Jenkins. Still, it appears Reid, Thomas and other players will continue protesting this coming weekend.

"We would rather not be demonstrating or protesting", Jenkins said to SI in September.

Eric Reid said that Jenkins has not been including Kaepernick, the founder of the original movement, in communications. This week, the coalition hired The Hopewell Fund to oversee and advise the group, which hopes to work with grass-roots and nonprofit organizations. The goal of the coalition was to bring light to topics such as social injustice and protests around the NFL. Not only with the money that they've put up, because I think that's probably the least important part of the deal, but with the resources and platform that they proposed to build.

"The opportunity to use the NFL's stage will draw more money than we would ever be able to do on our own", Jenkins said. What we didn't have was a conversation with players in the coalition based on some of the responses that we got from the league.

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