NFL owners voice support over social justice efforts

Michael Bidwill, President of the Arizona Cardinals

"The positive impact NFL players and teams have on their respective communities is well-established and extends back decades. Whenever there has been a need, the league, its players and its teams have risen to meet it. It's clear that right now the need exists to address important issues related to social justice and equality. The ability to impact this area requires collaboration not only between teams and players but also with our community leaders and elected leaders both on a national and local level. The goal of this committee is to assist in this very worthwhile effort and I'm honored to be a part of it."

Arthur Blank, Owner and Chairman of Atlanta Falcons:

"We have the opportunity and obligation to work toward the worthy goal of equality and fairness for all. I've been encouraged and inspired by the thoughtful dialogue we've already had and the initial steps taken by many in the NFL community. I know we can leverage the strength, influence and resources of the league and each club to inspire real change in our communities and beyond and I look forward to working closely with the owners and players to accomplish meaningful progress on these important societal issues."

Jimmy Haslam, Owner of Cleveland Browns:

"Our players have been tremendous and deserve a lot of credit for engaging in very thoughtful and productive dialogue on how to create the most impactful initiatives on these very important issues. Eliminating barriers to opportunity through empathy, action, education, and inclusion is our goal and working alongside our players on this mission has been an honor and very powerful. We are all deeply committed to utilizing the unique platform that we have to create positive change for our country's future and particularly, our nation's youth."

Christopher Johnson, Chairman and CEO of New York Jets:

"It has been the honor of my life to stand and link arms with our players during the National Anthem this past season. I stand in support and could not be more proud of their ongoing efforts to make a positive and constructive impact in our community and for the equality of justice in America."

Shahid Khan, Owner of Jacksonville Jaguars:

"I've personally experienced social ignorance and injustice in my life, but unfortunately millions of Americans face societal challenges each day that are far greater and outweigh anything I have encountered. We have an opportunity and obligation at the National Football League to first make this stop, and then build a community -- whether that's local, national or global -- where right and good prevail. This is a calling that I am proud to answer as a member of the committee, and being surrounded by strong owners and players who share the same commitment, I am confident the progress and change we need will happen. It may not be easy getting there, but we will do all we can to get there and ultimately be better."

Jonathan Kraft, President of New England Patriots:

"If we want to ensure equality and advancements in social justice, education is paramount. But, education doesn't just take place in classrooms. It comes from talking to people who have different life experiences and perspectives than your own. The more you listen, the more you learn. The more educated you are, the more empathy you will feel. In the NFL, we not only have an audience, but a platform from which we can work together to affect positive changes in our society. I hope more people will take the time to listen, learn and try to understand the steps that still need to be taken to continue to make progress. There has been a lot of positive dialogue and I am encouraged by the leadership that our players are taking in this initiative. I know that the New England Patriots pledge our support to this program."

Jeffrey Lurie, CEO and Chairman of Philadelphia Eagles:

"The best of us lend our compassion and determination to the aid of others. Every day I see the genuine dedication and hard work of our players. I support them as they take their courage, character and commitment into our communities to make them better or to call attention to injustice. The time and attention our players have dedicated in Philadelphia and league-wide demonstrate a focused commitment to improving the lives of others. The conversations that have arisen organically because of these labors are just the beginning. There is more to do ahead and I am looking forward to joining with players to make meaningful change in our community."

Stephen Ross, Managing General Partner of Miami Dolphins, Founder of Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality

"I felt it is important to continue to advocate for the issues that are important to our players, specifically social justice. I know what our players have done in the community on a year round basis and there is nothing more American than what they are advocating for, equal rights and justice for all. With our continued efforts through RISE and funding to individuals and organizations that further the principles of community engagement, education and justice reform, our vision is to use the unifying power of sports to bring people together."

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