Term Paper: NFL Nonprofits

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Sports and Social Change

Over the last several years, social change has become a phenomenon where sports organizations are reaching out to stakeholders to creative positive impacts. This is because sports are highlighting important differences in social issues and the way can be used as a platform to address them. A good example of this can be seen with observations from Stulberg (2014) who said, "Sports have always been about more than just winning. They have always been central to our culture, they have always been battlegrounds on the road to social progress." (Stulberg)

Regardless of the issues, sports are way for individuals to invite significant transformations by questioning existing attitudes. For instance, when African-Americans broke the color barrier, it created new attitudes in the way everybody seen each other. These shifts invited changes in society with more people demanding equality for everyone. The result is that the sports are a stage for inviting them. (Stulberg)

In the National Football League (NFL), they are at the forefront for endorsing these different views. Most recently, Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins revealed that he would support an openly gay teammate with him saying, "There are a lot of teammates in my locker room right now who may not have a homosexual lifestyle, but they have sins, too. They're not perfect. So I don't say they can't help us win. Nobody's perfect. To that degree, we'd welcome him into our locker room and say come help us win, and hopefully I can love him like Jesus and hopefully show him what it means to follow Jesus." ("Kirk Cousins of Washington Redskins Says He'd Welcome Gay Teammate: Nobody's Perfect") This is illustrating how sports are changing the national debate on various social issues. Part of the reason for this, is because many of its stars are regarded as heroes and followed by the general public. Their attitudes will have an influence on the way they are able to address a variety of issues in the longer term. These views have become more widely accepted based upon the insights provided by individuals such as Kirk Cousins.

At the same time, the NFL is involved in various programs which help to bridge any differences and encourage philanthropy / community service. These initiatives, invite changes that will have a positive influence on stakeholders in the longer term. One of the best examples of this is NFL Foundation. Their basic objectives are to reach out to communities through different programs. That is encouraging social responsibility. ("Community")

To fully understand the way this occurs requires carefully examining how they invite social change. This will be accomplished by: looking at their ongoing activities, how they are exploiting the competitive nature of sports and the way this enables them to achieve these larger goals. Together, these different elements will highlight the way this organization is creating lasting social changes across generational demographics and the effects it is having on their profit margins.

The Ongoing Activities

The NFL Foundation is concentrating on making a difference in the community by encouraging children to participate in various physical activities. Evidence of this can be seen with them saying, "The NFL Foundation works with the League, its 32 Clubs and players to give back to the communities where our game is played. Through our work with the American Heart Association and The Cooper Institute, we support the NFL Play 60 campaign -- to encourage kids to be active every day for 60 minutes. Initiatives such as the NFL Play 60 Challenge and the NFL Play 60 Program are integral parts of PLAY 60, and promote physical activity and healthy environments for children in their schools and homes. We want as many children as possible to Play 60 which is why the NFL Foundation provides grants to its 32 Clubs to support activities in their areas that encourage kids to be physically active." ("Community") This is illustrating how they want to give something back to communities, by encouraging children to engage in various forms of physical activities.

At the same time, they are actively involved in helping communities. This occurs by making large donations to cities who are hosting the Super Bowl of $1million in legacy grants. The basic idea is to encourage them to address specific challenge impacting children. For example, in many cases the foundation will give something back by through assisting them to purchase technology / multimedia labs, refurbish classroom / recreational facilities and physical fitness zones. A good example of their involvement can be seen with the foundation saying, "Since 1992, the NFL has provided Super Bowl Host cities with a $1 million Legacy Grant to help support underserved youngsters in the local community. Such funding helped to create 13 Youth Education Towns (YETs) in underserved areas of host Super Bowl community. Youth Education Town facilities and programs vary, as do the number of children that they serve. However, most of these youth enrichment centers include interactive fitness equipment, classrooms, technology and multimedia labs, physical fitness zones, athletic and recreation fields and other resources. In some locations, YETs offer full-day school programs as well as after-school services. The NFL Foundation also provides programs and grants to help YETs keep their youngsters active and healthy." ("Community") These insights are showing how foundation is focused on reaching out to at risk youth by helping in these areas. This is dealing with critical challenges in inner city neighborhoods through the grants they are providing.

Moreover, the foundation will work with other charities to address issues and draw attention to key problems. For instance, every October they will work with the American Cancer Society to illustrate the importance of cancer research. Commenting about these activities the foundations says, "In partnership with the American Cancer Society we strive to make a positive impact in the fight against breast cancer through 'A Crucial Catch.' The campaign focuses on raising awareness of the importance of screening among our fans. Every October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the 32 NFL clubs do their part to raise awareness of breast cancer screenings supported by grants from the NFL Foundation." ("Community") This is illustrating how the foundation is providing more by benefits through working with other charities in support of their primary objectives.

As a result, the NFL is using its status and notoriety to highlight the importance of physical fitness, address specific challenges impacting inner city communities and partner with other nonprofits to address mission critical issues. These variables are enabling them to highlight the importance of key issues and offer additional support in dealing with them. In the future, this means that they can use sports as a platform to make a difference for introducing social changes. ("Community")

How the NFL Foundation is exploiting the Competitive Nature of Sports?

Sports are being used as a platform for helping the NFL Foundation to exploit its overall social objectives. This is because the different players on various teams are seen as individuals who can draw an emotional connection with the fan base inside specific cities and on a national level. The example they set and what they say, will encourage adults and children to imitate them.

Part of the reason why this is occurring, is because sports have become publicized and are replacing many of the national heroes of the past (thanks in part to televising different games). A good example of this can be seen with observations from Ferriter (2014) who said, "Sports is a reminder that in recent decades we have had new secular icons and heroes to adore and celebrate and they have come to prominence in an era of commercialization, mass media and communications. Our ancestors might be turning in their graves at the idea that we would replace an affirmation of the power of prayer and religious belief with a cocky assertion of our worship of and faith in a sporting hero. In times past, reverence was more associated with political and religious heroes -- usually patriots, presidents and popes -- whose images adorned domestic walls and shrines. In certain homes by the 1960s, photos of Eamon de Valera, Pope John XXIII and President John F. Kennedy were placed in close proximity and images of why the leaders were also popular. A significant change has been the increasing professionalization and broadening of the appeal of sport and its heroes and it now involves women, both as participants and spectators, on a scale that was not apparent in the past. Before television, sporting triumphs were read about or, if it was an option, listened to on radio, but now, because of marketing, blanket television coverage and a new variety of social media, we are constantly surrounded by the images, words and thoughts of our sporting heroes as they tweet, do interviews, grace our screens and share their sporting and sometimes personal diaries" (Ferriter)

This is illustrating how sports have become an avenue of elevating athletes to the status of national heroes. The NFL is capitalizing on them… [END OF PREVIEW]

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NFL Nonprofits.  (2014, April 23).  Retrieved March 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nfl-nonprofits/8439192

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