‘End Racism’ shirts designed by Texans’ Michael Thomas sent to every NFL player
Houston Texans safety Michael Thomas will soon see a shirt he designed donned by countless NFL players as Week 1 of the 2020 season kicks off Thursday night.
The shirt, which bears the message “END RACISM” on the back with “INJUSTICE AGAINST ONE OF US IS INJUSTICE AGAINST ALL OF US” on the front, is reportedly expected to be worn by every NFL player this weekend. In fact, the shirt will debut during warmups Thursday night when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans.
Here are the T-shirts — designed by #Texans safety Michael Thomas, and sent by the NFLPA to every player league-wide — that you’ll see during pregame warmups, starting tonight in Kansas City.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 10, 2020
The front reads: “INJUSTICE AGAINST ONE OF US IS INJUSTICE AGAINST ALL OF US.” pic.twitter.com/bkeo7mAkXm
“It’s a message of unity while speaking directly to what we’re fighting for in this movement,” Thomas said of the shirts, according to Jerry Bembry of The Undefeated.
Thomas currently serves as vice president of the NFL Players Association. According to Bembry’s report, the NFLPA suggested to Thomas and teammate Kenny Stills that they should design a shirt that addresses social injustice and systemic racism. Since Thomas happened to own a t-shirt company, so he had the infrastructure in place to make it happen.
Player activism is expected to play a prominent role throughout the 2020 NFL season. It remains to be seen how each team handles potential peaceful protests and other actions, especially during the pregame national anthem,
Whatever the case, it’s widely expected any such acts will be much more prominent than in past seasons, though one of the NFL’s most popular teams, remains unsettled on how it will approach any possible player protest this season.
The social upheaval and associated countrywide protests inspired by George Floyd’s death on May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody — among other recent high-profile incidents of police misconduct — have led to player– and NFL-led initiatives in support of Black Lives Matter as well as other associated social justice movements.
The NFLPA sending out Thomas’ shirt to every player in the league reinforces the notion that the 2020 campaign will be unlike any other when it comes to player activism.