The NFL has gotten its fair share of criticism for the way in which it handled peaceful protests by players speaking out against police brutality and racial injustices in the past.

And in light of George Floyd’s murder, one of the league’s own employees was so unsatisfied with the statement that he reached out to star players to make a video and stiff arm the NFL into taking a real stand.

But now, the NFL is putting its money where its mouth is, pledging $250 million over the course of a 10-year span to do its part in the fight against systemic racism.

“The NFL is growing our social justice efforts through a 10-year total $250 million fund to combat systemic racism and support the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African-Americans,” the NFL on Thursday announced.

“The NFL and our clubs will continue to work collaboratively with NFL players to support programs to address criminal justice reform, police reforms, and economic and educational advancement. In addition to the financial commitment, we will continue to leverage the NFL Network and all of our media properties to place an increased emphasis on raising awareness and promoting education of social justice issues to our fans and help foster unity.”

This is a great gesture by the league. But we’ll see how it handles this season, as players almost are guaranteed to partake in demonstrations, whether that be kneeling for the anthem or just speaking on the issues.

Still, this hopefully is progress.

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