That yr, the N.F.L. additionally started a program known as Inspire Change that directs donations to teams centered on police-community relations, felony justice reform, training and financial development. Final yr, the N.F.L. stated it was practically tripling the scale of its dedication to this system, pledging to spend as much as $250 million over 10 years.
Amid the protests set off by Mr. Floyd’s demise, Roger Goodell, the N.F.L. commissioner, launched a videotaped message final yr condemning racism and the systemic oppression of Black individuals. His message got here in the future after a gaggle of gamers had launched their own video calling on the league to ship simply such a message and to “admit unsuitable in silencing our gamers from peacefully protesting.”
“We, the Nationwide Soccer League, admit we had been unsuitable for not listening to N.F.L. gamers earlier and encourage all to talk out and peacefully protest,” Mr. Goodell stated in his message. “We, the Nationwide Soccer League, consider Black lives matter.”
Final yr, the league additionally honored Mr. Floyd, Ms. Taylor, Mr. Arbery and others via an initiative known as “Say Their Stories.”
Mr. McCarthy stated on Saturday that there had been no change within the league’s stance about kneeling through the anthem. Gamers are “strongly inspired” to face for the anthem, he stated, however the N.F.L. doesn’t plan to take motion towards those that select as an alternative to kneel, increase a fist or stay within the locker room.
“We’ve by no means fined one participant” for kneeling, he stated. “No participant has ever been disciplined.”
The top-zone slogans, he stated, will probably be featured throughout each recreation, aside from people who honor particular causes. For instance, throughout a “Salute to Service” recreation honoring the army, “Finish Racism” will probably be changed with “Salute to Service” in a single finish zone, and “It Takes All of Us” will stay on the opposite finish zone, he stated.
“Carry Each Voice and Sing,” referred to as the Black nationwide anthem, which the N.F.L. performed earlier than video games within the opening week of final yr’s season, will as soon as once more be performed earlier than the beginning of this season’s first recreation between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, Mr. McCarthy stated. The music will even be performed on the Professional Bowl, the Tremendous Bowl and the N.F.L. draft, he stated.