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Patriots reaffirm commitment to social justice in statement released Sunday

Patriots defensive lineman Nick Thurman wore an "End Racism" shirt before the team's game against the Raiders this season.
Patriots defensive lineman Nick Thurman wore an "End Racism" shirt before the team's game against the Raiders this season.Stew Milne/Associated Press

Following America’s summer of racial reckoning, many of Boston’s professional sports teams made commitments to support social justice and address inequality in the region, and the country.

The Patriots released a statement Sunday morning before their season finale against the Jets to discuss the efforts they’ve made to support these causes during and after the season.

“As our 2020 season comes to a close on the field today, we – the New England Patriots players, coaches and personnel staff – are proud to share information about our efforts off the field this season to learn from and support the New England community, a community that has given us such incredible support over the years,” the statement began.

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“Each Monday throughout this season, we held social justice meetings as a team in order to continue important dialogues that began over the summer. We met virtually with leaders of different local organizations and also with system-impacted individuals, all of whom are working in a variety of facets, including police and community relations, criminal justice reform, food insecurity, education and healthcare.

We were often joined by ownership, who have been unwavering in their commitment to listening and learning alongside us. Through these sessions, we’ve gained a greater understanding of social justice issues and why they matter, and how we can use our platform as NFL players to help promote equity, fairness and racial equality in our local community and beyond.”

The Patriots and owner Robert Kraft will also donate $500,000 through the Players’ Social Justice Fund over the next few weeks to eight New England-based community organizations. They also donated $34,000 to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless to distribute gift cards to the people they serve.

In June, the Patriots announced they would commit $1 million to social justice causes.

The statement ended by saying “The Patriots stand together in our mission to do more to end racism, bigotry and prejudice by leading with love, care and compassion. We will continue to use our platform to advocate for change, help provide access to opportunities and make a collective impact on the well-being of our community and the future of our children.”

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