Detroit Lions to award nearly $600,000 in grants to 9 local charities

The Detroit Lions will award nearly $600,000 in grants to local charities next year through the organization’s social justice initiative, “Inspire Change,” the team announced Thursday.

The program was borne of a contentious 2017 season, when eight Lions joined players across the NFL in taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest social injustices and demonstrate against insensitive remarks made by President Donald Trump.

Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford met with players the following week and said she would donate money and her name to causes important to the players if they refrained from protesting during the anthem.