All NFL facilities will be closed on Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 3, “to ensure that every member of the NFL family has an opportunity to exercise the precious right to vote,” the NFL and NFLPA announced Thursday in a joint statement.
In addition, the NFL and its union said they will:
Sponsor education programs in the days leading up to to the election so players, staff and their families are aware of how to register, obtain absentee ballots and how to vote.
Work with state officials to create polling places at its stadiums.
With the help of teams and owners, set up meetings between elected officials at the state and local level and law enforcement leaders “to discuss steps that can be taken to reduce conflict and improve relations between law enforcement and members of the community.”
Support the college education “for the children of the victims who will be recognized by our players.”
Earlier this week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated the league’s support for players fighting for racial justice and protesting police violence. Citing the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Goodell said Tuesday that the incident has “brought forth more feelings of anger, frustration, anguish, fear for many of us in the NFL family.”
This season, NFL end zones will be inscribed with two slogans: “It Takes All Of Us” on one end line and “End Racism” on the other. As part of its social justice awareness initiatives, the NFL also will allow similar visuals on helmets and caps. Players will also be able to display the names of victims of racial injustice on their helmets.
In addition, “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” traditionally known as the Black national anthem, will be performed live or played before every Week 1 NFL game, The Undefeated’s Jason Reid has reported.
The league announced earlier this summer that it is committing $250 million over 10 years to social justice initiatives.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.