Today (Sept. 10), the NFL will start holding games under social distancing protocols as the coronavirus pandemic continues to persist in the U.S. The 2020 season will kick off tonight with a performance by Alicia Keys.
The songstress isn’t just performing, Keys is partnering with the NFL to launch a $1 billion endowment fund aimed at supporting Black businesses and communities.
"The initial goal of $1 billion is to ensure a substantial commitment," Keys told Billboard. "Even with that it does not come close to closing the economic gap. The next steps are to reach out to different industries to invite them to invest in racial justice and create a multi-billion dollar endowment across business sectors.”
She also added, "There is an urgent conversation that is happening across businesses about the importance of investing in Black America. I’m personally committed to holding corporations and institutions accountable, and in my conversations with the NFL, they reaffirmed their commitment to racial equity.”
The NFL itself has come under scrutiny in recent years over it’s four-year conflict with Colin Kaepernick, whose professional career was sidelined after he started taking a knee during the National Anthem in silent protest against social injustice. Kaepernick has not been signed to a professional football team since he left the 49ers in 2017.
Kaepernick and Eric Reid reached a confidential settlement with the NFL in their collusion case against the league in February of 2019.
Learn more about Alicia Keys’ partnership with the NFL, here.