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Reports: NFL players can honor victims of police violence on helmets

Jason Owens
·2-min read

NFL players will have the option to honor victims of racial violence or police brutality with decals on the back of their helmets, Front Office Sports and the Associated Press reported.

The decision arrives after earlier reports that the league and players were considering how to make social justice statements on their uniforms.

The league is working with players to come up with a list of names that can be used, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, according to FOS.

Program to run all season

Players will be permitted to wear the decals beginning Week 1 and continue through the rest of the season, assuming the league is able to commence as scheduled in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to wear decals and the names honored will be up to individual players and teams once a list of names is settled upon.

Players will have the option to wear a helmet sticker honoring a victim of race or police violence. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Players will have the option to wear a helmet sticker honoring a victim of racial or police violence. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NFL continues shift from former stance

The decision continues an about face for the NFL, which previously shunned kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice. Colin Kaepernick still remains without a contract since the 2016 season.

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s homicide and ensuing race reckoning across the United States, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said that “we were wrong” on the issue of player protests.

The decision follows those by the NBA and WNBA to honor victims of police violence with names and slogans on the backs of jerseys. WNBA players will honor Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed in Louisville when police barged into her home on a no-knock warrant on March 13.

NBA players will have the option to choose from a list of social justice slogans on their uniforms when the league begins on July 30, but they won’t have the option of using names of victims of violence on their jerseys.

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