On Friday, the NFL announced the launch of its Inspire Change initiative, which will center on the collaborative efforts of players, owners and the league as a whole to enact positive change in underserved communities across the country with primary focuses on three areas:
- Education and economic advancement
- Police and community relations
- Criminal justice reform
The Inspire Change launch includes the debut of a new television spot, which will air during this weekend’s playoff games. Additional versions of the television spot will continue to air throughout the post-season, including on Super Bowl Sunday during pregame programming.
Today the @NFL announced the #InspireChange initiative, showcasing the collaborative efforts of NFL players, owners and the league to create positive change in communities across the country. https://t.co/iZLnJN7pFY pic.twitter.com/TEc3peh0dx
— Troy Vincent (@TroyVincent23) January 11, 2019
According to ESPN, the league committed $8.5 million to the partnership in 2018, and the NFL Foundation added $2 million in grants for clubs and both retired and active players. The total commitment from the league is expected to hit $12 million for 2019.
Throughout the length of the deal, though, the total commitment could exceed $89 million — as the initial figures didn’t include money raised by teams or players, per the report.
Former player and players association president Troy Vincent, now the league’s pro football operations chief, emphasizes how much work has been done and continues to be done by the players. This week, he was told by Players Coalition co-founder Anquan Boldin that the NFL is still “on point” with its initiatives.
Vincent, who grew up outside Philadelphia, didn’t understand the complexities of the incarceration rate and the bail system. He notes how the opening of communication between the league office and teams and communities has helped steer the social justice movement.
“What we learned is that every community knew the grassroots organizations in their respective neighborhoods that were doing the work, the daily hands-on work,” Vincent said. “Working with the larger organizations gave us a national view.”