NFL ad touts work with players on social issues


As part of its partnership with players on social justice issues, the NFL on Friday kicked off its Inspire Change initiative, highlighting the league’s wide-ranging efforts to effect positive change in underprivileged communities.

A new television spot, which showcases owners and players collaborating in the first season of their seven-year, multimillion dollar deal, will air this weekend during the divisional playoffs and continue through the Super Bowl. Within the new initiative, the league will promote its work in education and economic development, community and police relations, and criminal justice reform.

The league and the Players Coalition, the main group that negotiated with owners on behalf of players who protested during the national anthem the past three seasons to bring attention to racial injustice, will also participate in several events related to social justice during Super Bowl week in Atlanta. Founded by Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins and former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin, the coalition, with the NFL’s help, has been a leader among activist groups in championing criminal justice reform.

The coalition and the NFL have come a long way together, said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations. He played a key role in brokering the agreement, which as recently as last season seemed highly unlikely to be completed.

“Now, with a season behind us, look at where we are going into 2019,” Vincent said via telephone. “I’m talking about a true partnership. I’m talking about policy change. I’m talking about using the platform for the greater good. So that part is not only refreshing, it’s like, ‘Look at what we can do when we actually work together.'”

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