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NFL players to wear decals to honor police brutality victims under league's social justice plan for new season

The end zones will feature the messages of 'It Takes All of Us' and 'End Racism' for home openers this season
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

On Monday, July 27, the NFL informed its teams of social justice plans for the upcoming season, where players will be allowed to wear decals in honor of police brutality victims. Signage against racism will also be placed in end zones for Week 1 games and home openers.

The league's regular-season opener is scheduled for September 10, and features the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.

"As we continue to amplify and elevate the NFL's ongoing and long-term commitment to social justice, we will be incorporating several prominent elements on the field, into all broadcasts and across league and club platforms to begin the NFL season and beyond. In developing these concepts, we have worked directly with players and received input from the NFLPA,” the memo sent to the clubs read.

The step has reportedly been taken after consultation with the five owners from the Social Justice Working Committee, Gayle Benson, Michael Bidwill, Arthur Blank, Dee Haslam, and Shad Khan. The Chairman of the Workplace Diversity Committee, Art Rooney II, was also reportedly involved in the meeting. According to the memo, players will be allowed to wear helmet decals to honor victims of systemic racism. They will be given an option to honor a victim by displaying their name or initial. However in the case of on-field signage, messages like “It Takes All Of Us” and “End Racism” would be painted on opposite ends of the field. Besides, every Week 1 game will also play a pre-recorded version of the Black national anthem ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’.

Along with these initiatives, the NFL has also introduced the "It Takes All of Us" campaign in which "authentic imagery of our nation's journey in 2020" will recognize front-line healthcare workers, the social justice movement, and the league’s players’ journey to the season opener. However, it’s not like only football teams are demanding justice and social change. Recently, NBA star LeBron James paid tribute to Breonna Taylor who was killed insider her apartment in a botched raid on March 13. The 35-year-old basketball player also demanded justice for the 26-year-old emergency medical technician. “We want the cops arrested who committed that crime,” James said Thursday night, July 23, while referring to the three officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove who allegedly killed Taylor. “First of all, I want to continue to shed light on justice for Breonna Taylor and to her family and everything that's going on with that situation. As one of the leaders of this league, I want her family to know, and I want the state of Kentucky to know that we feel for her and we want justice. That's what it's all about. What's right is right and what's wrong is wrong,” the player said.

He explained that BLM is not just a movement, but it’s a lifestyle. “When you're Black, it's not a movement. It's a lifestyle. We sit here and say it's a movement, and, okay ... how long is this movement going to last? 'Don't stop the movement.' ... No, this is a walk of life. When you wake up and you're black, that is what it is. It shouldn't be a movement. It should be a lifestyle. This is who we are.” To honor Taylor, James also wore sneakers that had the message “#Justice4BreonnaT” written over them while his Los Angeles Lakers lost a game to the Dallas Mavericks at the NBA's bubble outside Orlando.