In an email to NFL staff Monday, Commissioner Roger Goodell vowed that the league would continue initiatives to strengthen voter rights. The memo came in response to the controversial Georgia State Election Integrity Act.
Major League Baseball responded to the new legislation by pulling this year’s All-Star game out of Atlanta.
USA TODAY Sports received a copy of the internal memo on Monday. In it, Goodell said a number of NFL staff asked about the league’s stance on the new electoral laws that have been passed in Georgia and are being scrutinized in other states.
Goodell wrote: “We know that the right to vote is fundamental and at the core of our democracy. We will always support that right, and the NFL has done so in a full and thoughtful way. Along with our players and so many of you, the NFL and its 32 clubs have shown real leadership through our NFL Votes initiative. This program looked at impartial and meaningful voting through voter education, voter registration and direct voting support across the country. “
Goodell explained the league’s efforts ahead of the 2020 election, pointing out that 16 NFL stadiums were used as polling stations. Many teams supported election workers and voters by providing personal protective equipment, meals and transportation.
Goodell said the NFL will continue its NFL Votes and Inspire Change initiatives.
The commissioner also shared the testimony made last week by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank in response to Georgia’s new electoral law, praising Blank’s demeanor.
In his statement, Blank said, “We should work to make voting easier, not more difficult, for every eligible citizen.” He promised that his team, other companies and his family foundation would continue to work towards “making voting access for citizens improve from Georgia and across the country. “