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Celebrating Black History Month in the NFL

WHEREAS, Frederick Douglas "Fritz" Pollard (January 27, 1894 – May 11, 1986) was the first African-American coach in the National Football League (NFL); and

WHEREAS, Frederick Douglas Pollard, along with Bobby Marshall, were the first two African-American players in the NFL in 1920; and

WHEREAS, the NFL league office continues to maintain and introduce diversity initiatives each year such as the Women's Interactive Network, partnerships with leading diversity advocacy organizations such as the Fritz Pollard Alliance and Women in Sports and Events, diversity training across the league office, establishment of diversity accountabilities for all senior leaders, enhancement of diversity recruitment resources, and the creation of talent management programs; and

WHEREAS, former players formed the Fritz Pollard Alliance to add pressure to the league and create more momentum for change; and

WHEREAS, the mission statement for the Fritz Pollard Alliance is "We promote diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of the National Football League (NFL) teams"; and

WHEREAS, the San Francisco 49ers hired Gideon Yu as the first president of color in the history of the NFL; and

WHEREAS, the Jacksonville Jaguars became the first NFL franchise to have a majority owner of color, Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-born American businessman that finalized his stake in ownership on January 4, 2012; and

WHEREAS, the total number of people of color serving as vice presidents on NFL teams has risen from 13 in 2011 to 19 in 2012 and the number of female vice presidents increased from 23 in 2011 to 37 in 2012; and

WHEREAS, Claudia Lezcano Del Campo, Miami Dolphins, and Kendyl Moss, Atlanta Falcons, were the only women of color who served as vice presidents in 2012; and

WHEREAS, there were six African-American general managers in both 2012 and 2013, this marks seven consecutive years with at least five general managers that are people of color. Ozzie Newsome became the second African-American general manager to win a Super Bowl when the Baltimore Ravens won in 2013; and

WHEREAS, nine out of the last 14 Super Bowls have had either an African- American head coach or general manager, the coaches were Tony Dungy (Colts), Lovie Smith (Bears), Mike Tomlin (Steelers, twice) and Jim Caldwell (Colts). The General Managers were Jerry Reese (Giants, twice), Rod Graves (Cardinals) and Ozzie Newsome (Ravens); and

WHEREAS, having an all-time record of eight people of color as head coaches in the NFL for 2011, the number decreased to four going into 2013; and

WHEREAS, the National Football League and its teams have celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 with a series of special events; and

WHEREAS, all NFL teams enhanced the celebration with local efforts throughout the month including designated home games in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and local community outreach; and

WHEREAS, NFL teams perform in Breast Cancer Awareness attire during NFL football games. Players wear pink shoes, towels, hats, gloves and the game ball is fashioned with the NFL Breast Cancer Awareness logo; and

WHEREAS, referees officiating the game call penalties by throwing pink flags during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Officials also wear pink wristbands as well as use a pink whistle; and

WHEREAS, cheerleaders perform with pink pompoms and footwear for Breast Cancer Awareness.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP urges the NFL to acknowledge and celebrate Black History Month.

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