NAACP Urges NFL to Rethink Fox Agreement Over Network's 'Bigotry and Racism'

Shortly after the NFL announced its long-term media distribution agreements on Thursday, the NAACP expressed its disagreement with one of the major TV networks. The NAACP's CEO said the NFL should reconsider its agreement with Fox, saying the network "sows bigotry and racism."

Derrick Johnson, the NAACP's president and CEO, cited FOX News created "dissension" and "spread misinformation" that led to the January insurrection against the U.S. Capitol.

"For several decades, the Fox Corporation, and more specifically, Fox News has represented the worst traditions of American broadcasting," Johnson said in The Hill. "The media outlet has used its news division to sow bigotry and racism, create dissension, spread misinformation, and promote conspiracy theories that ultimately led to an insurrection against the U.S. Capitol. It is safe to say, the views and opinions of Fox News are often squarely positioned against the progression of our democracy and not in the general public's best interest."

Johnson went on to say the NFL has a substantial amount of Black players, and that Fox is able to raise its rates through subscribers fees and then pass along those profits to its Fox News network that he says downplays systemic racism and "attacks Black Lives Matter."

"This is just one aspect of its inaccurate, incendiary coverage of racial injustice. Network personalities routinely attack Black Lives Matter and downplay the existence of systemic racism and police brutality," Johnson said. "A league where nearly 70% of the players are Black and prides itself as America's favorite sports pastime, should not be complicit in helping to increase the profits of Fox News."

NFL on Fox
The NAACP’s CEO said the NFL should reconsider its agreement with Fox, saying the network “sows bigotry and racism.” Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Newsweek reached out to the Fox Corporation for comment.

The NFL on Thursday announced its new long-term agreement with Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN/ABC and Amazon to broadcast its football games through TV, cable and multiple digital platforms.

The 11-year agreement begins with the 2023 season and will carry through the 2033 season.

"These new media deals will provide our fans even greater access to the games they love. We're proud to grow our partnerships with the most innovative media companies in the market," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Along with our recently completed labor agreement with the NFLPA, these distribution agreements bring an unprecedented era of stability to the League and will permit us to continue to grow and improve our game."

Fox acquired the NFC package of Sunday afternoon games in 1994, and it remains the NFC's home network. The lead announcing crew is Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, and Fox's most-recent Super Bowl was in February 2020, when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Miami.

Fox is scheduled to get Super Bowl broadcast rights in 2024, 2028 and 2032.

In the new agreement, Fox expanded its digital right, including the AVOD streaming platform Tubi to deliver its content on digital platforms.

According to a statement from the NFL, Fox's game of the week has been "the most-watched NFL window for the last 20 seasons."

"Today we extend our 27-year partnership with the NFL and solidify the foundation of our marquee sports portfolio beyond the end of the decade," Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Fox Corporation, said in a statement. "In addition to maintaining our leading Sunday afternoon NFC package, we are pleased to broaden our deal to include new digital rights that provide us with the flexibility to deliver NFL on FOX to customers in expanded and innovative ways. This long-term agreement ensures that we will continue to deliver the best in football coverage to our viewers while also strengthening and providing optionality to our business."