New York, NY – The National Football League announced Tuesday that it has officially established an owner-player “social justice committee” created to help the league better focus on social and racial justice issues.
"We feel that we are going to make significant progress as we have more meetings, as we get more focused on our efforts, it's going to actually come to life," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press conference on Jan. 23. "And frankly, we will get better as the days go by."
Goodell said the committee will focus on education, economic development, community and police relations, and the criminal justice system.
He said the committee is just the beginning of the process, but that it will help them build greater awareness and help them focus on social justice and racial justice initiatives, according to ABC News.
It’s also the first tangible step in a quest to try to get players to stop kneeling, which they hope will stop the rapid retreat of fans from NFL stadiums and televised games.
Former 49er Colin Kaepernick caused massive controversy when he began the trend of NFL players kneeling when the national anthem was played before football games. Fans expressed their opinions with their wallets and the NFL has been struggling on all fronts.
Initially, the NFL had said it was considering creating a fund to bankroll social justice efforts, but had to walk the idea back after it was revealed that the funding for those new social justice initiatives would have come out of funds previously designated for breast cancer and veterans’ charities.