Report: NFL to Allow Helmet Decals Honoring Victims of Systemic RacismJuly 21, 2020
The NFL will reportedly allow players to have decals on their helmets this season, featuring names or initials of victims of police violence and systemic racism, according to Jason Reid of The Undefeated.
The league and players association are putting together a list of names, while players are encouraged to provide suggestions.
This comes after the WNBA allowed players to replace their own names on their jerseys with the names of Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland and others. The NBA has allowed players to put social justice messages on the backs of jerseys but not the names of anyone who has died.
The NFL decals represent a small step in the league's recent push for social justice.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was ostracized after kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest systemic racism and police brutality, and the league eventually created a new anthem policy in 2018 that required players to stand when on the field.
The tone has changed this offseason, with commissioner Roger Goodell posting a video encouraging protests and admitting the league's past mistakes:
The league will also play "Lift Every Voice And Sing," a song traditionally known as the Black national anthem, before every Week 1 game.
There have been few opportunities for players to use their individual platform during games, with the recent exception of "My Cause My Cleats," which allows players to represent one charitable organization during one game each season.