"We would like November to serve as a month of Unity."
A group of current and former NFL players, including Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith and recently retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin, have sent a memo to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell requesting the league to endorse efforts to promote an activism awareness month.
According to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, the group of players sent the memo in August, asking the NFL's support in campaigning for racial equality and criminal justice reform, for the entire month of November.
Part of the 10-page memo, which can be read in full here, states,
“To be clear, we are asking for your support. We appreciate your acknowledgement on the call regarding the clear distinction between support and permission. For us, support means: bear all or part of the weight of; hold up; give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act."
"We need support, collaboration and partnerships to achieve our goal of strengthening the community. There are a variety of ways for you to get involved. Similar to the model we have in place for players to get involved, there are three tiers of engagement based on your comfort level. To start, we appreciate your agreement on making this an immediate priority. In your words, from Protest to Progress, we need action.”
"We would like November to serve as a month of Unity for individual teams to engage and impact the community in their market," the memo states.
According to ProFootballTalk, neither the league, nor the players who signed the memo commented, citing an agreement to keep direct communications with Goodell private.
The goal is to have the NFL honor activism in an effort "similarly to what the league already implements for breast cancer awareness, honoring military, etc," according to ESPN.
A group of NFL players want a month dedicated to racial equality and criminal justice reform, per Yahoo.... https://t.co/iOs5PEdb7i— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 21, 2017
Let's see how NFL reacts to this.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) September 21, 2017
Group of players asks NFL to support activism awareness month – ProFootballTalk https://t.co/fjxhLM0FdD