WASHINGTON — The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and voter engagement organization Black Men Vote (BMV), announced an historic partnership focused on voter registration and engagement. The new partnership will leverage the historical involvement of NFL players in increasing voter turnout and facilitating a fair discussion of issues that impact communities across America.
Founded in 1956, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Representing more than 2,000 players – the majority of whom are men of color — the NFLPA has been a leading advocate for issues of social justice, human rights, and equality. Black Men Vote is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to inform, educate and encourage all Black men (particularly age 18-35) to vote in local, state and federal elections.
The NFLPA/BMV partnership comes at a critical time in our nation and will help facilitate greater participation in our electoral system by often marginalized communities. Key components will include but are not limited to: strategic relationships and/or partnerships with former and current players, a public awareness campaign highlighting the importance of voting, collaborative voter registration drives, advocacy and policy reform, data analysis and research, and strategic fundraising partnerships. All of these elements are designed to increase voter registration and engagement among Black men specifically and the American public in general.
“Black Men Vote’s mission to empower men of color and to educate them on issues that impact our communities seamlessly aligns with what we stand for as a union as well as with the players we represent,” NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said. “Voting is one of the greatest weapons we have in our ongoing march for justice. Together, I’m excited to see what we will accomplish as we work to make sure that every voice is heard at the polls.”
“The NFLPA is one of the leading and most impactful organizations in our country, not only serving their players, but also large segments of the American public,” said Larry Williams Jr., Executive Director of Black Men Vote. “They have been an outspoken voice in support of voting and voter registration, as well as other critical issues such as social justice, mental health awareness, and community action. We are proud to count them as a critical partner in our efforts to register and engage Black men across America in the voting process, and are excited that they have chosen to use their platform in support of this important goal.”
Under this new partnership, BMV and the NFLPA will establish and nurture strategic relationships with former and current players who are interested in supporting voting rights and civic engagement. The initiative will involve collaborating with athletes to amplify messaging, promote voter registration, and encourage civic participation among their fans and followers to advance the cause of voting rights and participation, especially amongst Black men.