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Press Statement June 16, 2020

NAACP Virtual Town Hall to Feature Current and Former NFL Players in Discussion About Role of Sports and Athletes in Struggle for Social Justice

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Discussion to be Preceded by Screening of NFL Network Documentary about First Black NFL Player

Washington, D.C. (June 14, 2020) – The NAACP will host a Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, June 18 at 6PM ET/ 3PM PT, centering on sports as a microcosm of society and the role of leagues and athletes in dismantling structural inequalities.

Moderated by sportscaster, Mike Hill, and featuring author, Bill Rhoden, analyst, Maria Taylor, along with current and former NFL players, the conversation will focus on the relationship between football and the nation's pursuit to live up to its ideals of freedom and justice.

"Through the stifling grip of Jim Crow segregation, the aspiration of the Civil Rights movement, the inspiring emergence of African American economic and political power, and the continued and exhausting fight for fair and equal treatment, football has always reflected the challenges seen in the larger society," said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP.

The discussion will be immediately preceded at 5 pm ET / 2 pm PT by a virtual screening of the NFL Network documentary about Fritz Pollard, the first Black NFL player.

Fritz Pollard: A Forgotten Man tells the story of an individual who refused to be defined by his time, but instead forced the National Football League and the larger society to accommodate the fullness of his potential.

A Forgotten Man underscores Fritz Pollard's legacy and his integral role in the history of the National Football League," said Hans Schroeder, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NFL Media. "NFL Network is proud to share this story and are excited to further engage the entire NFL family in dialogue to address systemic racism and social injustices."

This event will kick off a series of events in commemoration of Juneteenth including a Virtual Family Reunion.

Media interested in covering the event should contact:

Marc Banks

NAACP Press Secretary


Kelsey Boyd

NFL Public Affairs



Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP's work and our six "Game Changer" issue areas here.


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