The NFL has committed to spending $250 million over the next 10 years to combat systemic racism and fight injustices against blacks. That’s great. It’s impressive. It’s awesome. And it’s $250 million more than was committed to the effort as of Thursday at this time.
But let’s put the $250 million in perspective. As noted yesterday, it works out to $781,250 per team per year. The minimum salary for rookies this year is $610,000.
The Chargers and Rams paid $645 million each for the privilege of relocating to L.A. The Raiders paid $350 million to move to Las Vegas. That works out to extra revenue, for doing absolutely nothing, of more than $50 million per team.
Again, $250 million is an impressive gesture. It’s money that no team is required to spend. And it presumably will help the cause.
But this calls for more than statements and donations. While those are good, they are the bare minimum, if not less than that. At a time of national unrest, the National Football League has a greater obligation than to throw words and cash at the problem. The league must lead from ahead, not from behind.
In this moment, the NFL must do three things. First, the NFL must repair Colin Kaepernick. Second, the Washington franchise must change its name. Third, the owners must speak in unconditional support of the ability of players to protest during the national anthem, with a clear commitment that there will be no repercussions of any kind for players who choose to not stand.
And, yes, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones must speak. He always has something to say, about anything and everything. At a time when the NFL may think it’s enough to commit to spending $250 million, the man who has a $250 million boat needs to address these issues.