The NFL has joined forces with the Contract with Black America Institute, an initiative launched by Ice Cube.
CWBA partnered with the league in an effort to bolster Black-owned businesses. Ice Cube seeks to address the racial wealth gap by identifying opportunities for the NFL to diversify its vendors.
“For more than a year, the CWBA Institute has been working closely with the NFL on identifying resources to build stronger, more substantive economic partnerships with the Black community,” Ice Cube said in a press release. “Our team at CWBA, including my longtime business partner and entertainment lawyer Jeff Kwatinetz, and advisors Ja’Ron Smith and Chris Pilkerton, are focused on building corporate partnerships with measurable economic growth outcomes for Black communities across the country. We believe this is a giant step in the right direction.”
The NFL faced criticism for its handling of police brutality protests started by Colin Kaepernick in 2016. The league attempted to right its wrongs by launching a social justice initiative called Inspire Change in 2019.
That same year, the NFL secured a partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Now, the league is working with Ice Cube after allocating $125 million to Black-owned businesses in 2021.
“Our partnership with CWBA is another reminder that partnering with intentional organizations is critical to everything we do at the League,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Black businesses play a major role in our country’s economic prosperity. We understand these businesses have not always had the opportunity for exponential growth, so we are pleased to have partners like Ice Cube and his organization, CWBA, in a continued, collective push toward greater economic inclusion.”