NFL Players Join Alliance for Criminal Justice Reform After Chauvin Verdict

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2021

FILE - This Aug. 9, 2014 file photo shows an NFL logo on a goal post pad before a preseason NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field in Detroit. Since the NFL Players Association was created in 1956, there have been in-season and preseason strikes and lockouts and contentious negotiations. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

The NFL Players Association announced it is joining the Alliance for Criminal Justice Reform to provide support for efforts to urge the United States Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. 

The NFLPA released a statement about goals of the alliance, which includes an initial commitment from 20 NFL players, after former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday of the murder of George Floyd last May:


Next step: more action ✊ NFL players are joining actors, coaches + artists in the Alliance for Criminal Justice Reform–starting with a Lobby Day to help push forward the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. ⏩ Players that are interested in joining please send us a DM. https://t.co/G0JkDSynF2

The Alliance for Criminal Justice Reform is bringing together athletes, artists, actors, former policymakers and thought leaders in criminal justice reform with the goal of helping pass criminal justice reform legislation.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act aims to reduce police violence and increase accountability by enacting a federal ban on police chokeholds, requiring federal officers to be equipped with body cameras, creating a nationwide police misconduct database and ending qualified immunity for police officers, which protects them from civil lawsuits, among other provisions. The bill was passed by the House in March but has yet to receive a vote in the Senate.

The Players Coalition, an independent group of athletes, coaches and owners focused on social justice, also identified action items Tuesday to continue efforts toward racial equality:

PlayersCoalition @playercoalition

Like so many following this trial, we applaud today’s verdict. However, there is still so much work to be done as we continue the fight for accountability in policing. We must continue to demand robust and massive change and here is where we can start. #TheFightContinues https://t.co/3HQjUHacpe

Several NFL teams released statements after Tuesday's verdict that celebrated the conviction but also stressed the importance of further work toward the ultimate goal of equality and an end of systemic racism.

Numerous current and former players also reacted to news of the verdict on social media, including 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes:

Patrick Mahomes II @PatrickMahomes


Doug Baldwin Jr 🌹 @DougBaldwinJr


Rodney McLeod @Rodney_McLeod4

Justice was served today! Thank you God. My heart is still with George Floyd’s family and friends. We can not let this end here, it is far from over. More work must be done!

The NFL also posted a statement, saying it would support efforts to "help move our society toward a more equal and just tomorrow."