During the season’s first game, we saw players standing arm in arm during the anthem, and the league even allowed them to have social justices on their helmets– similar to what we see in the NBA Bubble. And now, they’re putting money behind their actions by starting a billion-dollar fund that’s going towards Black-owned businesses and communities through a partnership with Alicia Keys.
In a statement, Keys cemented that she’s using her celebrity to draw more attention towards the social and racial injustices that have plagued America since its inception but have recently been at the forefront because it’s now being recorded on phones. And to her, the solution to fixing the broken system begins making sure Black people have access.
“We are already seeing the blatant injustices that are going on around us,” Keys told Billboard. “As an artist, I’m always thinking about how can I use my platform to further racial equity. This fund is one of the answers and our goal is to empower Black America through investing in Black businesses, Black investors, institutions, entrepreneurs, schools and banks in a way to create sustainable solutions.”
To celebrate the launch of the partnership, Keys will be performing at the NFL’s Kickoff event for the 2020 season.
The league’s sudden initiative to help the Black community comes after mistreating Colin Kaepernick since he decided to kneel during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season to bring awareness for social injustice. Kap was seemingly blackballed by the league and couldn’t get a job after his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers and filing a grievance. But recently, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell changed his tune on the situation and wished he listened to the concerns of the Black community earlier. He even went as far as to say he’s “encouraged” teams to sign the now 32-year-old quarterback.