Four current and former NFL players sent a 10-page memo to the league in August requesting public and financial support for their social change efforts and asking for an activism awareness month similar to "what the league already implements for breast cancer awareness" and "honoring military."
According to Yahoo Sports, the 2,740-word memo was sent to commissioner Roger Goodell and executive president of football operations Troy Vincent. The four players who sent the memo included: Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, former Buffalo Bills wideout Anquan Boldin and Eagles wideout Torrey Smith.
The memo requested November as an activism awareness month and also sought an investment in time and education, political involvement, finances and other commitments from the NFL.
Bennett and Jenkins have followed the lead of free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protesting the national anthem during games. Yahoo Sports reported that the four sent the memo in response to a call that Goodell initiated regarding the progression of player activism.
"To start, we appreciate your agreement on making this an immediate priority," the four wrote in the memo. "In your words, from Protest to Progress, we need action."
The four players did not comment to Yahoo Sports, citing privacy of the conversations with Goodell. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy issued a statement to USA TODAY Sports highlighting Goodell's recent visit to Philadelphia — which occurred after the memo was sent — where he and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie joined Jenkins to examine the city's justice system, meeting with community leaders and representatives of law enforcement.
"Commissioner Goodell has been talking with players for some time about social justice issues and how to recognize the progress and the important work of our players in their communities across the country," McCarthy said in the statement. "The commissioner is grateful to our players both for sharing their experiences and for all the important work they are doing in the community."
The players described in the memo what "support" meant to them:
"To be clear, we are asking for your support," the four wrote. "For us, support means: Bear all or part of the weight of; hold up; give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act. We need support, collaboration and partnerships to achieve our goal of strengthening the community."