The NFL announced on Tuesday the introduction of a joint player and ownership commitment focused on social justice. The campaign, called "Let's Listen Together," will highlight player-led work on social and racial equality and allow players and owners to share their personal reasons for making social justice a priority.
Included in this 10-person group, which had it first meeting in December, is Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, one of five current and former players along with New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown, Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum and former players Anquan Boldin and Aeneas Williams.
The committee is also comprised of owners Michael Bidwell (Arizona Cardinals), Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons), Jimmy Haslam (Cleveland Browns), Shahid Khan (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Stephen Ross (Miami Dolphins).
According to the NFL's press release, "the group will focus on supporting programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity, with a priority on supporting improvements in education and economic development, community and police relations, and the criminal justice system. It will work directly with league staff to help identify future initiatives that have both broad support and a potential for high impact, and make financial recommendations accordingly."
Norman is an ideal member of the coalition. The cornerback spoke out against social injustice throughout the season and continues to impact youth with his Starz 24 Foundation, which provides enrichment to children through community events & youth programs. This past year he donated $100,000 to assist in Hurricane Maria relief efforts after the storm ravaged Puerto Rico, leaving many in the country without power for extensive periods of time.
"This working group and our Players Coalition task force are striving hard to change the narrative," Norman said in a statement. "From police/community engagement, criminal justice reform, and to educational and economic advancement. It's about fostering wisdom and developing an understanding of your surroundings, your resources, and your options. We are a nation built on the backs of diverse people, led by diverse people; as a united people we can reach out together and turn the key that unlocks the full potential of our country."
The NFL Foundation will also launch a grant for active and retired players who develop social justice programming and partner with non-profit organizations. The league will also provide support for any players or clubs interested in criminal justice reform at local and national levels.
"We are pleased to have developed a new initiative that focuses on creating meaningful solutions to improve our communities," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "In developing this plan, we have taken the lead from our players and are honored to join them in this work. Their work has deepened our understanding of the unique platform we have to help advance progress in a profound and unifying way."