NFL Players Lobby Roger Goodell for ‘Activism Awareness Month’

Four players, including Michael Bennett, endorse 10-page memo on subject.

NFL Throws Support Behind Seahawks' Michael Bennett
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers speaks with defensive end Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks after the game at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle,Washington. The Seahawks won the game 37-18. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

The protests started in August 2016. And as much as the NFL would’ve liked them to go away, they proliferated.

Beginning with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s silent national anthem protest, the number of on-field displays during the national anthem—and beyond—have slowly climbed. Other players, such as the Seattle Seahawks Michael Bennett and Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins have become vocal supporters of the movement.

Now, some players want the NFL to actually listen.

Players sent a 10-page memo addressed to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Executive Vice President of Player Operations Troy Vincent, asking for the NFL’s help in furthering their cause of “[raising] awareness to racial inequality and issues surrounding criminal justice reform,” per Yahoo Sports. This included education, political, and financial initiatives, as well as the endorsement of November as an “activism awareness month,” like the league already does for cancer and the military. Four players—Bennett, Jenkins, the Eagles’ Torrey Smith, and recently retired NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin—endorsed the memo.

According to Yahoo Sports, Goodell met with some of the players engaged in protests last month to move the conversation forward.

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