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aliciahuang 18 months ago
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While Texans owner Bob McNair considers his players "inmates" and believes the football field is no place for political demonstrations, a second, more empathetic faction has emerged among NFL owners.

Jets acting owner Christopher Johnson, who has taken command of the team with older brother Woody serving as an ambassador to England, may be the polar opposite of the conservative McNair.

 "I don't agree with that,When asked Sunday if the NFL should ban anthem protests, he said, but I'm only one of 32 owners. So we'll see how that goes. I just think that trying to forcibly get the players to shut up is a fantastically bad idea."

 the Pats president and son of owner Robert Kraft,Ironically, two of the most socially conscious owners in the NFL have emerged from the bitter Jets-Patriots rivalry. Both Johnson and Jonathan Kraft, have put their names on op-eds in conjunction with the Players Coalition. Kraft's ran in Boston on Super Bowl Sunday.

 Anquan Boldin,Johnson most recently co-signed an essay in the Daily News with current and former NFL players including Demario Davis, Kelvin Beachum, and Neil Glat, Josh McCown, the president of the Jets.

The editorial urges New York lawmakers to enact meaningful criminal justice overhauls, particularly bail reform and changes to the pre-trial justice system.

"As members of the Players Coalition, and speedy trial rules keep people locked up for months pretrial, discovery,Authentic Travis Kelce Jersey," they wrote. "We have witnessed firsthand how New York's broken bail,Womens Chris Jones Jersey, we have seen the injustices inflicted on communities impacted by a broken criminal justice system, unable to make bail,Womens Spencer Ware Jersey, with no meaningful hope of having a speedy trial and no access to critical evidence in their cases. And we now stand with the majority of New Yorkers demanding change."

The Players Coalition is a group of NFL players led by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and Boldin that most notably worked to get the NFL to pledge almost $100 million to community and social justice initiatives. The Coalition's work has evolved from the anthem protests Colin Kaepernick started in 2016, proof that, despite McNair's belief that a football field is no place for politics.

 no matter what anyone says,"I think we all showed that it is," Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty said. "It is a platform for us as players, that is not going to change. It's going to be a platform for players because of what we do on that field. It gives us a chance to go out there and do some things we're passionate about and do some things we believe in. But at the end of the day, and I think, it's about what we do off the playing field that creates real change."

That change is beginning to be seen in criminal justice reforms taking shape around the country. NFL players like McCourty and Jenkins have been instrumental in keeping the conversation about these matters fresh and out in the open. Last week, the Players Coalition held a summit at Harvard and the players have been instrumental in supporting initiatives around the country.

In Massachusetts, the criminal justice reform bill McCourty and former Patriot Troy Brown lobbied for was filed on Friday. According to a source close to the situation, the involvement of those players and their presence at the State House made a significant difference in pushing it forward. Part of that bill would raise the age of a child entering the juvenile system from 7 to 12 years old.

 simply because they cannot afford the hefty fee. Thanks to a new ordinance,The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously last month to change how bail works, guilty or not, a system that can punish people and leave them locked up, judges have more flexibility to let people go before their trial depending on the nature of the crimes they are accused of.

" passed unanimously in the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month. The bill will go to a vote in the House next month with Jenkins,In Philadelphia, while Pennsylvania lawmakers are also making changes. HB 1419 known as the "Clean Slate Act, new district attorney Larry Kasner has promised a complete overhaul of the system, Chris Long and Torrey Smith still advocating for its passage.

 Washington and Boston,This work is also being done by the Players Coalition in cities like New York, Baltimore, too.

"It's been great for us to see the power of the people," McCourty said.

Still, there are reminders there is much work to be done, such as last week's police killing of Stephon Clark and mounting claims that free-agent safety Eric Reid remains unsigned because he protested alongside Kaepernick two seasons ago.

 to think that one bill or one meeting is going to change anything would be foolish. I think it motivates all of us that are involved to keep striving,Womens Marcus Peters Jersey,"It motivates us to do more work, no matter what we do,Authentic KeiVarae Russell Jersey," McCourty said. "There's still a lot of work left. No matter what kind of momentum we have,Authentic Spencer Ware Jersey, keep pushing."

The players have been working hard for two years,Womens KeiVarae Russell Jersey, but now for the first time, they are getting public support from ownership.

"I think it's great to have ownership getting involved,Womens Travis Kelce Jersey, coaches,Authentic Chris Jones Jersey, we have to get as many resources as we can. Players, every person in America and I think in the NFL,Authentic Mitch Morse Jersey," McCourty said. "This isn't just a black thing or an Hispanic thing. This is for all Americans to be involved in who want to see change. That comes from every avenue, front office, everyone should be involved."

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