Much like the other professional sports league currently playing games, when the Bears kick off their season on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, we should expect a clear message to be delivered.
The league has planned to raise awareness for social justice in several ways – one of which will be exercised by Allen Robinson on Sunday. According to NBC Sports Chicago’s Adam Hoge, Robinson will display a Black Lives Matter decal on his helmet for this weekend’s matchup.
The NFL announced last week that players can either share a victim’s name or a pre-approved message on their helmet this season. Additionally, players will wear a t-shirt designed by the NFL players association during warmups, and the end zones in each stadium will have “End Racism” as well as “It takes all of us” stenciled into the turf.
In a lot of ways, the NBA (and WNBA) likely set the groundwork for how the NFL has decided to get their point across. The NBA was the first league to allow players to put a message on their uniform, and they also made a statement by writing “Black Lives Matter” in bold letters across the court.
What will be interesting to watch now is whether or not the NFL adds to their current plans. Other leagues have seen their players continue to send new, collective messages, as well as implement bigger goals to help combat systemic racism. Considering the NFL’s enormous platform, this is undoubtedly a massive avenue for players to make their voices heard.