Report: NFL Plans To Allow Players To Place Social Justice Decals On Helmets  During Season

The 2020 NFL season will look very different for a couple of reasons. While the COVID-19 pandemic is still fresh in the minds of everyone, so is the racial equality awakening the United States is experiencing. The NFL has already committed to donating $250 million over a 10-year period to combat systemic racism, and players reportedly may be invited to sport helmet tributes to honor those who were victims of police brutality.

According to a recent report from Front Office Sports, the NFL‘s 1,700-plus players will likely be invited to wear helmet decals bearing the names or initials of police violence victims and those impacted by systemic racism. The league office is working with the NFL Players Association to compile a list of names in time for the start of the regular season. These on-uniform tributes would likely only appear on helmets, not jerseys, as previously thought. According to Steve Wyche of the NFL Network, the tributes could range from African American victims of racism to police officers slain in the line of duty. Wyche notes that the league hasn’t made a final decision on the matter, but it “sounds like it’s going to happen.”

On rare occasions, the NFL has employed helmet decals or patches to salute former players or owners who have passed away or branches of the U.S. Armed Forces during the annual “Salute to Service” in November.

The NBA is doing something similar to what the NFL will likely do, as players will be allowed to replace their name on the back of their jerseys with certain statements pertaining to social justice. The NBA considered using the names of those that have died in police custody, but decided against it out of respect for the families.

Earlier this month, it was reported that “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” a song also known as the Black national anthem, will be performed live or played prior to “The Star Spangled Banner” at each of the NFL’s Week 1 games in 2020. The league also recognized Juneteenth as an official holiday and pledged to “reach out” to players who have “raised their voices” on issues of racial inequality.

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July 21, 2020 at 11:27AM