New York, NY – The National Football League’s “Inspire Change” campaign includes partners who get funding from the NFL and have advocated for defunding the police, according to a Fox News investigation.
The NFL’s social justice initiative include groups such as the Vera Institute for Justice, the Oregon Justice Resource Center and the Community Justice Exchange which support defunding or abolishing the police, according to a review of the organizations by Fox News.
The NFL’s support of social justice causes is well documented, but what hasn’t been reported is that the NFL is financially supporting anti-police organizations, Fox News reported.
The NFL gave $300,000 to the Oregon Justice Resource Center while it wasn’t clear how much the NFL gave to the Vera Institute of Justice and Community Justice Exchange, Fox News reported. The league has said it has donated tens of millions of dollars through the “Inspire Change” campaign.
The Community Justice Exchange’s goals are to get rid of policing along with prisons and immigration enforcement, Fox News stated. The Community Justice Exchange runs the National Bail Fund Network which has the local chapter called the Minnesota Freedom Fund that bailed out rioters and alleged domestic abusers during the summer 2020 riots, Fox News reported.
The Oregon Justice Resource Center also supports defunding the police.
“The brutality of LE [law enforcement] & cruelty of our prisons are connected by the same malignant tumor: white supremacy,” the Oregon Justice Resource Center tweeted in June 2020, according to Fox News. “We must dismantle/defund it all.”
The Vera Institute of Justice is also in favor of defunding police, according to Fox News.
“Vera is committed to dismantling the current culture of policing and working toward solutions that defund police and shift power to communities,” Vera Institute of Justice president Nicholas Turner wrote in June 2020, according to Fox News.
The NFL didn’t respond to specific questions from Fox News but did release a statement.
“Our 33 social justice grant partners have been selected based on the critical work that they have done surrounding Inspire Change’s four pillars – education, economic advancement, criminal justice reform, and police & community relations – to break down barriers to opportunity, end systemic racism, and bridge the gap between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve,” the NFL stated, according to Fox News. “We stand by the work our grant partners have done and the lasting positive impact made in communities across the country.”
The National Sheriffs Association criticized the NFL after the Fox News report.
“I hope the NFL got its ROI [return on investment]: More crime, more legitimate criminals released, more community anger and more jerseys sold, eyeballs watching and paid seats filled at their games,” said executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs Association Jonathan Thompson, according to The Western Journal. “Well done to the NFL. Hopefully, all the deputies and officers that protect their facilities and audiences that attend their games feel better about the NFL, especially since it is funding organizations that want to completely dissolve our country’s principle of adherence to the rule of law.”