Agents Rip NFL Over Pretending To Care About Race And Diversity
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Agents Rip NFL Over Pretending To Care About Race And Diversity

Anonymous NFL agents have slammed the league with accusations over a lack of effort where systemic racism and diversity were concerned last year, following the death of George Floyd.

The NFL has been at the forefront in terms of such news, given the Colin Kaepernick controversy and players deciding to take a knee during the national anthem. The practice was heavily criticized by former United States President Donald Trump but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would apologize to players last June for not listening to them earlier after Floyd was killed by a white police officer who kept a knee on his neck until he passed out and died.

The league chief also supported the decision to kneel in protest against racism and discrimination. The NFL allowed teams to have phrases such as “end racism” in their end zones while players were also permitted to wear similar phrases or the names of persons who lost their lives to racially motivated acts of violence on their helmets.

Despite the above, a number of agents have told The Athletic that nothing has changed since last year, with many of them blasting the league for being disingenuous.

“Nothing. It’s all bulls—. The NFL does not care,” one agent said. “They just want everyone to believe they care,” one agent told the outlet. “Same with player health. The same people are hiring the same people who will hire the same people.”

“There’s a heightened awareness of that situation,” another added. “That’s good, but making sure it’s always put in its proper perspective and doesn’t become bigger than the game. ‘We’re going to effect social change, (Colin) Kaepernick (and so on).’ Well, there wasn’t a mass support of Kaepernick by the people doing it. In the last eight weeks of last season, how many people were kneeling during the national anthem? They need to effect change by meeting with (politicians) — and using the media effectively like Kaepernick did — and put those meetings on the NFL Network. … Go to the source of change to (get things done). Nobody is changing anything by somebody kneeling at a stadium. They will change when you exert pressure on Congress or local authorities.”

Another agent said: “Nothing. I think the NFL operates in a vacuum. Deal with the problem, spend money, move on. People forget.”

One such player representative said they are hoping to see more action as opposed to simple on-field protests.

“I’m hoping it becomes less about protests and more about actions,” they remarked. “What can players do on the education side and community side? Players get engaged, talk to law enforcement and help more (and) became aware who wants to get involved beyond protest.”

The NFL has increased its activity on such a front in communities since the beginning of the year, however. The NFL Foundation, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are top favorites in the NFL Picks, and the Super Bowl LV Host Committee committed $2 million to the Forever 55 social legacy initiative, per a news release.

“Forever 55 represents the everlasting impression that Super Bowl LV will have on the Tampa community and focuses on six pillars of support including: the First 1,000 Days (Early Childhood Education); Fuel (Food Insecurity); Families (At-Risk, Unsheltered and Veterans); Fitness (Health and Wellness); Future (Sustainability) and Further (Systemic Justice),” it reads.

The league also partnered with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Inspire Change Huddle Legacy Program prior to this year’s draft in Cleveland as they sought to make a positive impact in the community.

The song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” will be played along with the “Star-Spangled Banner” prior to Week 1 games next season, according to reports.
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The song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” will be played along with the “Star-Spangled Banner” prior to Week 1 games next season, according to reports.

The various initiatives have done little to change agents’ minds, however, with one of them claiming the NFL is only making moves because they’ve been forced to as a result of the outcry.

“The NFL has been forced to address the issue because of what we’ve seen in society over the last 12-18 months,” they were quoted as saying. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t have done anything. I’m sure there are real changes in some certain areas, but this was very forced and based on what my players say, more is needed.”

“Nothing. It’s just talk. You have a bunch of owners focused on where their money goes and, frankly, just want the noise to stop,” another reckons.” I don’t like the draft pick compensation for hiring minorities.”