In its transformation from a sports league to a social justice warrior, the National Football League is supporting anti-police groups, according to a new report.
And the National Sheriffs Association is fuming.
A report by Fox News took a close look at the NFL’s Inspire Change program, which was inaugurated after the George Floyd riots to appease critics who said the league must do more for black communities.
The report found that at least three groups — Vera Institute of Justice, the Oregon Justice Resource Center and the Community Justice Exchange — have been public critics of the police and support the concept of defunding the police.
“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,” executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs Association Jonathan Thompson said.
Thompson said the NFL’s support for groups that hate the police gives “new meaning to the idea you spend money to make money.”
“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,” he stated.
The NFL’s misplaced compassion ought to shift its focus, he explained.
“Perhaps they could spend one night in a cruiser or a jail to see the horrendous effects of runaway crime,” he said.
“Or they could look into the faces of the victims of crime who are white, black, brown, men, women, elderly, kids, poor, rich and every demographic in America,” Thompson continued.
The Community Justice Exchange wants to create “a world without prisons, policing, prosecution, surveillance or any form of detention or supervision,” according to a statement on its website, Fox reported. Its work includes publishing a roadmap to “prison abolition.”
The group also runs the National Bail Fund Network, which helped Minneapolis rioters get out of jail through its affiliate, the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
The NFL donated $300,000 to the Oregon Justice Resource Center last month, KOIN-TV reported. In a June 2020 tweet, OJRC bluntly expressed its support for defunding the police.https://t.co/N2VDyYaOSu
— Paul Baumgartner 68% Adjudicated (@WatchnDaWorld) December 16, 2021
The NFL offered a general comment when asked about its support of anti-police groups.
“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,” an NFL spokesman said, according to Fox.
“We stand by the work our grant partners have done and the lasting positive impact made in communities across the country.”