The entire Los Angeles Rams team wore a “Choose Love” decal on their helmet for the season opener against the Buffalo Bills last night. NFL teams confirmed that they stenciled “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” in end zones for the third consecutive season as part of the league’s Inspire Change social justice initiative.
Players picked one of seven messages for their helmets this year. The remaining six include: “End Racism,” “Stop Hate,” “It Takes All of Us,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Inspire Change” and “Say Their Stories.” The league stated that it added “Choose Love” because of a disturbing increase in gun violence and hate crimes around the country.
Anna Isaacson, NFL senior vice president of social responsibility, told The Associated Press:
“As we kick off another NFL season, the league’s commitment to social justice remains as present on field and in stadium across all 32 clubs as it is in communities nationwide. This year, we’re expanding efforts to include the Inspire Change Changemaker Award which will honor a local social justice changemaker from each club market. Initiatives like NFL Votes, dedicated grant-making to both national and local non-profits, the social justice helmet decal program, expanded programming and content on NFL owned and operated channels to highlight social justice efforts across the NFL family and, of course, dedicated Inspire Change weeks will also continue.”
In addition, the NFL will continue to feature “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the Black National Anthem, at major events. The NFL also partnered with Colombian-American artist Ruben Rojas to promote love this season.
For Thursday night’s league opener, Rojas created two signature “Love” sculptures that will be placed in both Los Angeles and Buffalo. The Los Angeles sculpture was unveiled at SoFi Stadium before the game. The Buffalo piece will debut in front of Highmark Stadium the week of September 19, leading up to the Bills’ home opener on Sept. 19.