Three current players and one recent retiree have asked the NFL for a dedicated month devoted to social activism.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and wide receiver Torrey Smith, and former Arizona Cardinals wideout Anquan Boldin sent a memo to the league in August requesting that the league observe November as social-activism month, “similarly to what the league already implements for breast cancer awareness, honoring military, etc.”
The memo came after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly talked with several players regarding their game-day activism efforts, ESPN reports.
“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, which was obtained by Yahoo! Sports and published Wednesday, states.
“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,” the letter stated.
Goodell recently took up Jenkins’ invitation to visit with Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to take a closer look at the city’s justice system.
“Commissioner Goodell has been talking with players for some time about social justice issues and how to recognize the progress and the important work of our players in their communities across the country,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement viewed by ESPN. The statement continued:
Malcolm invited the commissioner to Philadelphia a couple weeks ago to see and share in what they’ve been doing to impact criminal justice reform. Joined by Mr. Lurie, the Commissioner spent the day along with Malcolm and others meeting with community leaders and representatives of law enforcement. The commissioner is grateful to our players both for sharing their experiences and for all the important work they are doing in the community.
The league declined Yahoo! Sports’ request for comment, and the players involved in crafting the memo also declined to comment, citing an agreement to keep the talks private.