Why Is The NFL Funding Prison Abolitionists?
In the wake of the death of George Floyd by a police officer in 2020, the NFL embraced the Black Lives Matter movement and assorted “social justice” causes. Football players kneeled for the national anthem before games. It even painted “end racism” in the back of the endzone. Surprisingly enough, racism still exists.
In moves that were slightly more impactful than empty virtue signaling, the NFL created the “Inspire Change” program which awarded grants to “social justice” ie. left-wing organizations. One of the organizations the NFL is funding is Community Justice Exchange. Here’s what the NFL says about the organization:
Community Justice Exchange is a national hub that provides support to community-based organizations that are building a new vision of community justice through bottom-up interventions in the criminal legal and immigration detention systems.
Sounds pretty meh at first glance. Seems like your standard run of the mill criminal justice reform organization. What exactly is the NFL funding though? According to the league:
- 75+ local community-based bail and bond funds, working to end money bail and pre-trial detention at the local level and immigration detention at the national level. This includes a local fund freeing over 10,000 individuals annually and elevating campaigns to end pre-trial detention at the state and local levels.
- Coordinating and supporting the 100+ local protest bail funds and a centralized rapid response fund to support those protesting for racial justice.
- Coordinating national actions like “Fall Freedom Day” that pool resources and elevate national advocacy to end detention.
So a league predominately made up of millionaires and with billionaire owners is funding efforts to not only end cash bail but end pretrial detention completely. What on Earth could possibly go wrong? At least these people can hire private security and live in gated communities. As for their fans, well that’s something most of them cannot afford.
Community Justice Exchange is an abolitionist organization. This means that we believe and are working toward a world without prisons, policing, prosecution, surveillance or any form of detention or supervision. We believe in building a world in which everyone has what they need to live well and where we don’t rely on police or prisons to address social problems like houslessness, mental illness, drug addiction, or poverty. We believe we can build a world in which people have the right to migrate and the right to stay. We understand prison abolition, within the framework established by Critical Resistance, as a long-term goal, and a practical organizing strategy. All of the resources we create, as well as the strategic and tactical advice we offer, are anchored in an abolitionist framework.
Is this some lunatic organization run by a no-name nutcase? Well, they are nuts but their founder and leader is actually a former congressional staffer who was a part of the late Senator Harry Reid’s (D-Nevada) political machine.
The founder and director of this organization is Pilar Weiss. Weiss is a former congressional staffer and before that she was the political director of the Culinary Workers Union in Nevada. Culinary is a major part of the Reid Machine that keeps Nevada stubbornly blue. Later Weiss worked as deputy director for politics and commnications at UNITE HERE, another major labor union. This isn’t some nobody.
The NFL has a “big game” coming up in a couple of weeks. Ask yourself why a group of entitled billioniaires and millionaires is funding an organization that wants to destroy public safety in this country?