Yeah, that move will definitely enhance the NFL’s image and reputation.
From MSN: 49ers safety Eric Reid claims the NFL’s proposed initiative to contribute $89 million to social justice causes is shifting money away from breast cancer and military support programs, according to Slate.com.
The NFL on Friday issued a memo to teams disputing that claim.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the NFL had proposed the massive funding initiative after meetings with the Players Coalition, a group of players meeting with league officials on social justice issues. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin founded that group and have led talks with the league.
But Reid and some other players walked away from the coalition this week over disagreement about how that initiative would be funded.
“In the discussion that we had, Malcolm conveyed to us — based on discussions that he had with the NFL — that the money would come from funds that are already allocated to breast cancer awareness and Salute to Service,” Reid told Slate.com Thursday. “So it would really be no skin off the owners’ backs: They would just move the money from those programs to this one.”
Other players who have left the Players Coalition over the issue include Dolphins safety Michael Thomas and Chargers offensive lineman Russell Okung.
Accordng to ESPN, the NFL submitted its proposal to players Monday. Owners will still have to vote on the proposal at the league meetings in March. The funds would come from both owner and player contributions, as well as select events such as memorabilia auctions.
But Reid claims he’s been told the NFL intends to use money already earmarked for the breast cancer awareness and military salute programs, making it easier for owners to sign off on the deal.
“[NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell is trying to make this as easy for the owners to agree to as possible so that — again, their goal is to end the protests,” Reid said. “He’s trying to make it as easy possible to do that for the owners. He’s going to present them with a proposal saying, ‘Look you really don’t have to do anything. We’re just going to shift this money from this area and just move it here.'”
NFL Chief Operating Officer Tod Leiweke disputes that account of how the program will be funded. In a memo sent Friday to club ownership, community relations directors and player engagement directors, Leiweke wrote, “This new program will supplement, and not replace, our other key social responsibility efforts, including Salute to Service, cancer awareness, domestic violence/sexual assault and youth programs.”
Reid contends that while reports have suggested that 40 or more NFL players have been involved in the Players Coalition talks, the true figure is less than half that number, and that Jenkins is the only one of those players who has participated in national anthem protests.
While there is no informal agreement that players would stop protesting as part of the $89 million proposal, Jenkins announced Thursday he would no longer protest during the anthem.
“Based on my understanding, every player who was actually protesting [aside from Jenkins] was not in agreement [with] this proposal,” Reid said, via Slate. “That leaves a remaining, I guess, nine or so players who don’t protest who were in agreement with the proposal.”