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THE NFL’S RACIAL JUSTICE EFFORTS FALL FAR SHORT. The National Football League’s efforts to recognize the enormity of this generational opportunity for racial justice, punctuated by a massive “We Believe Black Lives Matter” sign in Kansas City as the Chiefs hosted the Houston Texans in the season opener, still falls short of what this moment requires.

This year’s Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake have hastened a long overdue national reckoning on Black citizenship and dignity.For the NFL, this meant ending the willful ignorance that allowed commissioner Roger Goodell to stand by while powerful owners like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys conflated peaceful protest against the killing of African Americans by law enforcement with disrespecting the American flag (he has recently adjusted his stance somewhat). This latest awakening looks performative at best, and the motions the league is going through are simply not enough.

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