As the NFL continues on its quest to pretend like it never blackballed Colin Kaepernick for holding a mirror up to America, now comes the news that its tremendously performative Inspire Change initiative will return for an encore performance that nobody asked for.
As we previously reported at The Root, the league’s Inspire Change campaign is essentially an elaborate ploy to rid rich white men of rich white men guilt by exercising their constitutional right to do the bare minimum:
During the Kaepernick-less 2020 football season, the NFL will paint “End racism” and “It takes all of us” in every stadium’s end zones, according to NBC Sports. Evidently, a four-year study commissioned by the 32 billionaire white men (funded with the salary saved by ousting a certain quarterback) determined that racism persists because white people apparently didn’t know they could just stop being racist. Or perhaps they didn’t know that white supremacy was a team sport.
Per ESPN, this means we’ll be treated to deeply impactful social justice measures like “It Takes All of Us” stenciled in the end zone and helmet decals that read “Stop Hate” and “Black Lives Matter”—a phrase NFL commissioner Roger Goodell couldn’t even bring himself to utter until George Floyd’s body laid cold in the street.
Mind you, this is the same league whose owners pour millions of dollars into the pockets of Republican legislators and political organizations and have transformed denying qualified Black candidates head coaching opportunities into an annual tradition.
But please, hide behind Jay-Z and tell me more about how this initiative was devised to demonstrate “how football and the NFL brings people together to work as one” and how the league will “use our example and our actions to help conquer racism.”
Even the league’s own players are tired of this weak-ass dog and pony show.
Again, now that it’s en vogue, the NFL wants to tout the exact same principles that it condemned Colin Kaepernick for on its own lackadaisical terms. If that sounds about white, just wait until the league partners with Van Jones to...shit, let me not give them any more ideas.