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Championed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, red states are on a ridiculous yet alarming crusade against diversity and Blackness, rallying their minions through coded language and intimidation tactics.
While the majority of bigger voices in sports have remained silent, particularly after DeSantis retaliated against Disney for “daring” to speak out against his horrific “don’t say gay” bill, one influential voice in Georgia has decided enough is enough.
That voice is Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC and cofounder of Home Depot.
At the NFL owners’ meeting earlier this week in Phoenix, Blank was asked about the recent crusade against DE&I (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), and the billionaire didn’t waste any time in expressing his opposition to the faux crusade.
“DEI covers all of us, whether you’re White or Black or Hispanic, or whatever you may be. So I’d be very much opposed to that. And you know, cutting back I mean,” responded Blank.
Over the last few months, states like Florida, Texas and Tennessee have gone full out to eliminate anything having to do with diversity and race. But Blank, who sits on the NFL’s DEI committee and donates to many causes supporting these initiatives, understands its value, importance and impact.
“The notion of pluralism and acceptance of everybody based on who they are and what they are and what they can do, et cetera, that should be the highest priority for our nation,” said Blank. “And certainly, in terms of job placement, job opportunities, things of that nature. So I would not politically or socially be in favor of efforts to roll back DEI.”
At the meetings, the league committed to improving DEI efforts. That includes recommending teams hire third-party DEI consultants and requiring each club to have a designated DEI lead executive.
With the league being taken to task over issues of race, as exemplified by its dealings with Colin Kaepernick, Brian Flores and the continued dearth of Black head coaches, those decisions were necessary.
NFL chief diversity officer Jonathan Beane made sure to highlight the progress teams and the league have made at the executive level.
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