NFL will again have social justice messages on fields, on helmets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
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The NFL will again put social justice messages on its fields, and allow players to wear social justice messages on their helmets, this season.

The league will put “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” near the end zones for the second straight season, officials told the Associated Press.

Players will also be allowed to choose one of six messages to put on their helmets: “End Racism,” “Stop Hate,” “It Takes All of Us,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Inspire Change” and “Say Their Stories.”

As PFT reported last month, that’s a more limited approach than last season, when the league allowed players to put the names of people killed by police officers on their helmets.

Last year’s policy was met with controversy: The Steelers initially announced that every player would wear the name of Antwon Rose, a 17-year-old killed by police, on their helmets, but several players refused when they learned the reasons jurors gave for acquitting the officer who shot Rose, which included that Rose had gunshot residue on his hands and was seen in a car that had just been involved in a drive-by shooting. The NFL was also sued by a Black Indianapolis police officer who claims he was defamed when the league included the man he shot on a list of “victims of systemic racism, victims of police misconduct, and social justice heroes” whose names would appear on players’ helmets.

The league will also have each team highlight its players’ social justice work during their final home games of the season in Weeks 17 and 18.