If you’re anything like me, something seems different when you turn on the NFL this year.
Somehow, the social justice symbolism seems to be of even greater importance this season, which has distracted some viewers who simply wish to escape from the politics of today.
Here is a look at the back of an NFL helmet from a few years ago, contrasted with the new slogan. Notice that each team’s helmet used to have that same team’s name inscribed on the back panel.
— The Unrepentant Reactionary (@unrepreact) September 27, 2022
This helmet design seems to make a lot of sense. Any time an NFL organization puts their own moniker onto a part of the uniform it is met with adoration from the fanbase.
Now, NFL helmets are required by rule to have one of seven slogans attached to their helmet, as the NFL hopes to advance its “Inspire Change” social justice movement.
Players can choose between any of the following seven slogans, all of which will look to mold the country closer to what NFL executives would like to see from the working class.
“Black Lives Matter”
“It Takes All of Us”
“Say Their Stories”
All seven of these mottos are aimed at combatting racism or bigotry of some kind.
When asked about this, and other, new movements toward social justice in the broadcasting of NFL games, NFL senior vice president of social responsibility Anna Isaacson had this to say.
“As we kick off another NFL season, the league’s commitment to social justice remains as present on field and in stadium across all 32 clubs as it is in communities nationwide. This year, we’re expanding efforts to include the Inspire Change Changemaker Award which will honor a local social justice change maker from each club market.”
The NFL has also changed the looks of the playing surface over the last few years with hopes of changing the views of its fans.
The slogans “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” are now inscribed in each end zone in large letters.
The NFL is certainly making it difficult to watch a game if you wish to avoid all of the social turmoil that is ever-present in media these days.
It appears that this would be the goal of the non-profit football organization.
“Initiatives like NFL votes, dedicated grant-making to both national and local non-profits, the social justice helmet decal program, expanded programming and content on NFL owned and operated channels to highlight social justice efforts across the NFL family and, of course, dedicated Inspire Change weeks will also continue,” Anna Isaacson concluded.
The NFL has also continued to try to encourage teams to hire and develop minority coaches, with a reward in place for teams that do that.
“We believe in diversity,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We believe it has made us stronger. People who have come into the league who are diverse have been very successful and made us better, and we just have to do a better job.”