Photo: David Eulitt / Getty Images

The National Football League on Thursday announced a $250 million fund to fight systemic racism over the next 10 years, after fallout over the death of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The league recently acknowledged it was "wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier" on matters of racism and systemic oppression of black Americans. The turnaround in messaging was the culmination of years worth of behind the scenes efforts and player activism.

  • Colin Kaepernick's choice to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 sparked both praise and backlash nationwide, but the former pro quarterback was later edged out of the NFL for allegedly blackballing him over his protest of the treatment of African Americans at the hands of police.
  • New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees drew ire earlier this month for suggesting that players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest inequality are "disrespecting the flag of the United States of America."

What they're saying: The league wrote in a statement that: "The NFL and our clubs will continue to work collaboratively with NFL players to support programs to address criminal justice reform, police reforms, and economic and educational advancement."

Go deeper

Sep 9, 2020 - Sports

Baseball's shrinking minor leagues

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Minor League Baseball (MiLB), whose season was already canceled due to the pandemic, is staring down a historic contraction once its agreement with Major League Baseball (MLB) expires on Sept. 30.

Why it matters: Roughly 42 of the 160 affiliated minor league clubs are set to lose affiliate status by the end of the month, drastically changing the future of not only the affected clubs, but the minor leagues as a whole.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 33,484,120 — Total deaths: 1,004,082 — Total recoveries: 23,212,633Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 7,180,179 — Total deaths: 205,729 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  7. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

What to watch in tonight's debate

Joe Biden (left) and President Trump (right) are facing off in Cleveland for the first presidential debate. Photos: Alex Wong (of Biden) and David Hume Kennerly (of Trump)/Getty Images

President Trump will try to break Joe Biden's composure by going after his son Hunter and other family members in tonight's first presidential debate — a campaign source tells Axios "nothing will be off the table" — while Biden plans to stick to the economy, coronavirus and new revelations about how Trump avoided paying taxes.

Driving the news: Biden and Trump are set to debate at 9pm ET at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and it will be moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace.

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