Videos by OutKick
Right there on the Community Justice Exchange’s website under the abolitionist organization’s ‘Vision’ is a statement that reads that the group is working “towards a world without prisons, policing, prosecution, surveillance or any form of detention or supervision.” And as it turns out, the NFL is working with the abolitionist group by funneling money from the league’s “Inspire Change” social justice initiative to the “Defund the police” group’s bank account, according to a Fox Business report.
Ironically, on its website announcing its relationship with the Community Justice Exchange, the NFL fails to tell fans that the group’s vision is a “world without prisons, policing [or] prosecution.”
It’s unclear how much money the NFL has funneled to the Community Justice Exchange, but it was announced that a similar group, the Oregon Justice Resource Center, received $300,000 this fall. In a statement released in April after an officer-involved shooting, the OJRC announced what its intentions are for donations such as those which came from the NFL.
“We need social workers and programs, not police,” the OJRC declared. “We need truth and action, not empty gestures and platitudes. Asking people to respond to the violence of the system with nonviolence without rebuking the violent system or calling for its destruction is actively harmful and hypocritical. Until we are prepared to accept these facts, openly acknowledge it, defund police, and refund communities, we will only repeat the cycle of neglect and violence.”
In September, a grand jury cleared the officer involved in the shooting. Investigators say a man pointed a replica handgun at police. The OJRC statement is still live on Instagram.
In a June 2020 tweet, the OJRC had this to say about law enforcement: Defund the police and prisons.
The brutality of LE & cruelty of our prisons are connected by the same malignant tumor: white supremacy.
We must dismantle/defund it all.
We didn't believe POC re LE brutality; we are making the same mistake by not listening to those incarcerated re their treatment.
— Oregon Justice Resource Center (@OJRCenter) June 10, 2020
What does the NFL have to say about all of this? Not much.
“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,” the NFL said in a statement to Fox Business.
“We stand by the work our grant partners have done and the lasting positive impact made in communities across the country.”
Meanwhile, the NFL continues to work with grant partner the Vera Institute of Justice which has a similar goal of “dismantling the current culture of policing and working towards solutions that defund police and shift power to communities,” according to Vera president Nicholas Turner who wrote that on June 8, 2020.
The Washington Free Beacon reported, via tax documents, that Vera amassed $174 million in revenue for the year ending in June 2020. Turner received $420,000 of that in salary and benefits.
Again, the NFL makes no mention on its grant partner page that the Vera Institute of Justice’s stated goal is the “dismantling” of policing.
In May, the league announced nine grant renewals totaling $2.5 million. The NFL’s “Social Justice Working Group,” which includes 10 players and team owners, decides which groups receive the grants. The league has committed a total of $250 million over the next 10 years to finance its “Inspire Change” initiative.
It’s unclear whether the 10 players and team owners know at least three of the grant partners have stated goals of defunding the police.