Earlier this week, the NFL and a group of players came to an agreement in principle about a new plan that involves the league paying $89 million over seven years to projects “dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education,” according to ESPN. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, however, was quick to explain why he believes the deal is “a charade.”
In an interview with Slate, Reid said one of the Players Coalition’s leaders, Malcolm Jenkins, conveyed to him the donations wouldn’t come in the form of new money. They would instead come “from funds that are already allocated to breast cancer awareness and Salute to Service,” meaning the NFL would “just move the money from those programs to this one.”
“Roger Goodell is trying to make this as easy for the owners to agree to as possible so that – again, their goal is to end the protests,” Reid said. “He’s trying to make it as easy possible to do that for the owners. He’s going to present them with a proposal saying, Look you really don’t have to do anything. We’re just going to shift this money from this area and just move it here.”
Reid revealed on Tuesday that he had ended his relationship with the Players Coalition. In a statement released on Twitter, Reid said Jenkins and Anquan Boldin, both of whom founded the Players Coalition, “can no longer speak on our behalf as we don’t believe the coalition’s beliefs are in our best interests as a whole.” Reid was joined by Russell Okung and Michael Thomas in announcing their withdrawal from the Players Coalition.
The NFL has since released a memo to every team to clarify that the new program will “supplement, and not replace, our other key social responsibility efforts, including Salute to Service, cancer awareness, domestic violence/sexual assault and youth programs.” League officials are reportedly hopeful that the program will eventually stop players from protesting during the national anthem.