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NFL Reportedly Planning 'Extensive' Social Justice Content for Week 1

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 29, 2020

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2019, file photo, The NFL logo NFL is on the goal post at Heinz Field before an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills in Pittsburgh. Disabled Sports USA, with funding from the NFL and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, plans to launch a league in the fall. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

When the 2020 NFL regular season begins, social justice content will reportedly be a significant part of the league's television broadcasts. 

Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the NFL is planning "extensive content around racial injustice" for the first week of the regular season.

"Among options discussed by the league and players union, according to a source involved: Players reading personalized poems and delivering first-person vignettes based on experience with racial injustice. These stories could be incorporated into game-day broadcasts," Fowler wrote.

Those come alongside a previous report from The Undefeated's Jason Reid that the NFL will play "Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing," which is known as the Black national anthem, before the start of every Week 1 game and potentially listing names of victims of police brutality either on jerseys or helmets. 

The NFL's potential inclusion of social justice content at the start of the regular season comes in the wake of postponements in several sports leagues after players elected not to participate in games.

The player protests were in response to a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back on Aug. 23. 

There has been speculation that NFL players could follow suit by choosing to sit out Week 1 games. NFL.com's Jim Trotter reported Friday that "a few prominent Black players" have said they want to sit out "to make their feelings felt and force change/action."

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Fowler noted several NFL players and executives said "they mostly do not expect a Week 1 boycott." The Arizona Cardinals are one team that has at least considered taking that action for their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. 

"We have talked about a wide variety of ways to protest," Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters told Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals.com. "Boycotting Week 1, obviously, that is something that has been discussed. But I think as far as the next steps, I don't think we're there yet."

The 2020 NFL regular season will begin on Sept.10 with the Houston Texans playing the Kansas City Chiefs. The rest of Week 1 will feature a total of 13 games on Sept. 13, followed by a Monday Night Football doubleheader on Sept. 14.