The NFL is expected to invite players to wear helmet decals honoring the victims of police brutality this season in a continuance of the league’s effort to combat systemic racism.
As a source with knowledge of the discussions confirmed to the Daily Mail, the NFL is currently finalizing the plan allowing teams to choose the victim they wish to honor and how the names or initials will be displayed.
George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police in May, and Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death in her apartment by Louisville police in March, are expected to be among those honored with a helmet decal.
Front Office Sports was the first to report the news.
Previously the NFL was known to be strict with regards to any messaging on league uniforms or even players’ cleats, but those regulations are loosening amid an increased focus on social justice.
Earlier this month, reports surfaced that the league plans to play ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ considered by many to be black Americans’ national anthem, before the Star-Spangled Banner in Week 1.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that the league made a mistake by not listening to players about racist police brutality.
Furthermore, Goodell said he’d encourage teams to sign Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who first protested inequality in 2016 by kneeling during the anthem.
Kaepernick has been a free agent since March of 2017, when he opted out of the final year of his contract in anticipation of his release. In February of 2019, the NFL settled a grievance with Kaepernick for an undisclosed amount after he accused league owners of blackballing him in retaliation for the controversial protests.
NFL teams often honor deceased owners, players, or colleagues with helmet decals or jersey patches.
In 2018, after New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson died, players were seen wearing helmet decals featuring his silhouette and his initials. In 2011, the New England Patriots honored Myra Kraft, owner Robert Kraft’s late wife, with a jersey patch featuring her initials.