The NFL has tried to become more progressive within the last decade. The Rooney Rule was put in place to allow minorities a higher chance at receiving coaching jobs. Women have received many more opportunities in the NFL as well. We've seen more women than ever working in coaching jobs and front offices.
But the NFL still has a stigma attached to it by some. The stigma is that the NFL is primarily a conservatively run sport and that its owners are traditionalists on a political scale.
The NFL's latest attempt to remove that stigma took a swing in the polar opposite political direction. The National Fraternal Order of Police tweeted that the NFL has been funding groups that wish to defund the police.
NFL faces serious allegations for donating $300,000 to Anti-Police groups
The allegations facing the NFL are incredibly divisive and political. It's the kind of initiative that will cause controversy from major news outlets.
The league isn't just donating to one group that wishes to defund the police. They're giving money to three groups that want to defund the police.
The NFL has undergone multiple initiatives to try and battle systemic racism. The biggest two are the "inspire change" and "social justice warrior" initiatives.
But the report is potentially damaging to the league's reputation. The NFL has a page on its website addressing the Community Justice Exchange. It goes into detail about what its intentions are. But nowhere does it say anything about defunding the police. The website says,
"Community Justice Exchange is a national hub that provides support to community-based organizations that are building a new community justice system through bottom-up interventions in the criminal, legal, and immigration detention systems."
The league has already begun to receive backlash from podcasts and publications.
The Oregon Justice Resource Center was the recipient of the $300,000 donation. They're among those spearheading reform in communities that are aiming to be safer without the need for police.
The NFL has been dealing with a lot of controversy for the majority of this season. From Jon Gruden to COVID-19 protocols, both have been hot button issues. With the rising number of recent cases, the NFL has been under siege for every decision it makes from people on both sides.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has his work cut out for him.