Sports

NFL starts initiative to help teams partner with businesses owned by minorities, women

The National Football League announced a new initiative to help teams work with more minority- and women-owned companies.

The initiative, called NFL Source, aims for its 32 franchises to “standardize how the NFL and its partners support working with underrepresented businesses locally and nationally, year-round,” the league said.

“NFL Source will expand the league’s day-to-day procurement efforts and is designed to increase access, identify potential qualified partners and drive economic impact locally and nationally across the league and clubs – creating equitable processes to ensure underrepresented businesses have increased exposure and the ability to compete for and win viable league and club contracts,” the league said on its website announcing the initiative. 

NFL logo on field

NFL logo on the field at Nissan Stadium before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 3, 2023, in Nashville. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

“NFL Source provides the league with an opportunity to reinvest funds back into the communities that our clubs and offices reside in and gain exposure to an increased number of businesses,” Jonathan Beane, senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer at the NFL, said in a statement. “Doing business with the NFL can provide unparalleled exposure for businesses and boost local economic mobility.”

The league will help teams find partners that are majority-owned by a minority, a woman, a person with disabilities, someone who is LGBTQ+ or a veteran.

Beane says that being involved in diversity, equity and inclusion “leads to higher productivity, better business solutions, more innovation and more creativity.”

NFL footballs in Detroit

Footballs with the NFL logo are lined up before the game between the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field on Dec. 4, 2022, in Detroit. (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

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“The adoption of expanding the NFL’s supplier diversity program aligns with our vision to continue to uplift and provide opportunities to local and diverse businesses,” said Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank. “The Falcons have and will continue to work diligently, alongside the league, as we all work toward the official launch of NFL Source.”

The initiative becoming official comes in the wake of the league condemning Harrison Butker’s speech at a college commencement last week in which he encouraged women graduates to embrace their “vocation” as a “homemaker,” and criticized the LGBTQ community and President Biden for his stance on abortion. 

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Beane told People. “His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

NFL logo on field

The NFL logo on the field at SoFi Stadium before the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 3, 2021, in Inglewood, California. (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

During his speech, Butker encouraged women to embrace what he called the “most important titles of all” as a Catholic. 

The league also said they will partner with U.S. Black chambers, Inc “to help local businesses across the country obtain the certifications necessary to do business with the league.”

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