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A "Stop Hate" slogan on the back of a New York Jets player's helmet. Photo: Al Pereira/Getty Images

The NFL will allow players to display choice social justice messages on their helmets and will stencil in "It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” messages in the end zones of every field, the Associated Press reported.

Why it matters: Approximately 70% of the NFL's active players are Black and the initiative is an effort by league officials to display solidarity with players protesting social justice causes like Black Lives Matter, per the New York Times.

  • The league has previously been criticized for failing to adequately support players who protested against racism and police violence.

The big picture: The NFL began stenciling the end zone messages and permitting helmet messages last year as part of its Inspire Change initiative, according to AP. The six helmet slogans players will be able to choose from include:

  • “End Racism"
  • “Stop Hate”
  • “It Takes All of Us”
  • “Black Lives Matter”
  • “Inspire Change”
  • “Say Their Stories.”

The end zone stencils will appear in all home games except in cases where other specific causes are being highlighted.

  • "For example, during a club’s Salute to Service game, 'End Racism' will be replaced with 'Salute To Service' in one end zone and 'It Takes All of Us' will remain on the opposite side," AP reported.

What they're saying: “It’s an opportunity to highlight messages that are important to the league, players and personnel and our communities,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Times.

  • George Atallah, a spokesman for the NFL Players Association, the players’ union, told the Times, “Our membership continues to not only care about these issues, but have been putting in the time and effort to effectuate change in their communities.”

Go deeper

Sep 18, 2021 - Podcasts

Hard Truths: Environmental Justice and the U.S. Government

In the latest installment of our Hard Truths series, how the federal government is tackling environmental justice, and what it will take to make real change in vulnerable communities.

Guests: Henry Herrera, EPA administrator Michael Regan, and Dr. Robert Bullard, distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University.

Credits: "Axios Today" is brought to you by Axios and Pushkin Industries. This episode was produced by Nuria Marquez Martinez and edited by Alexandra Botti. Jeanne Montalvo is our sound engineer. Dan Bobkoff is our executive producer. Special thanks to executive editor Sara Kehaulani Goo, Hard Truths editor Michele Salcedo, managing editor for business Aja Whitacker-Moore, climate and energy reporters Ben Geman and Andrew Freedman, and race and justice reporter Russell Contreras.

Editor’s note: This story incorrectly stated that the atomic bomb test was detonated in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The bomb was developed in Los Alamos but detonated in a desert valley near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The episode has been updated to reflect the change.

FBI director: Domestic terrorism cases have surged since 2020

Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Sept. 21. Photo: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before a Senate committee Tuesday that the agency's domestic terrorism caseload has "exploded" in size since spring of 2020.

Why it matters: The Jan. 6 Capitol riot refocused attention on the issue of domestic terrorism and security, but Wray's testimony points to a trend that pre-dates the insurrection.

20 mins ago - World

UN: Taliban nominates new envoy, asks to speak at General Assembly meeting

Afghanistan's current UN ambassador Ghulam M. Isaczai. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations said Tuesday that the Taliban has asked to speak at the United Nations General Assembly's meeting this week, AP reports.

Why it matters: The move marks a direct challenge to Afghanistan's currently accredited UN ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, whom the Taliban says no longer represents Afghanistan.