NFL Funded Left-Wing Group Bailing Out Anti-Israel Bridge Blockers

Community Justice Exchange received grants from NFL’s ‘Inspire Change’ program as recently as 2022

An A15 anti-Israel protest on Wall Street, April 15, 2024 (Twitter/@JCAndersonNYC)
April 23, 2024

The left-wing nonprofit that bailed out anti-Israel protesters who blocked bridges and highways across the country last week was a multi-year partner of the NFL's "Inspire Change program" whose work is still promoted on the NFL's website.

Community Justice Exchange set up a "bail and legal defense fund" for those arrested during last week's A15 protests. The protests targeted major airports, highways, and bridges in dozens of U.S. cities including San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia. Their explicit goal was to disrupt economic "choke points" to maximize financial disruption, as explained on their website.

The online fundraiser, hosted by ActBlue and organized in conjunction with A15 Action, told donors that the funds will "support community members who are criminalized in the U.S. for their solidarity with Palestine."

As an official "Inspire Change" partner, the Community Justice Exchange received grants and publicity in its work "to end money bail and pre-trial detention at the local level and immigration detention at the national level." The NFL’s partnership with the Community Justice Exchange was last extended in June 2022, according to an announcement from the league. The league touted the left-wing group's "work with organizers, advocates, and legal providers across the country that are using community bail funds as part of efforts to radically change local bail systems and reduce incarceration." The grants went toward "coordinating and supporting the 100+ local protest to bail funds and a centralized rapid response fund to support those protesting for racial justice."

The partnership appears to have since lapsed—the nonprofit wasn’t on the list of grantees announced in May 2023. The NFL’s "Inspire Change" website lists Community Justice Exchange under "Previous Grant Recipients" and still includes a link to the group's website.

The NFL's promotion of the left-wing group underscores the extent to which anti-Israel groups have been propped up by major donors and institutions in the United States. Community Justice Exchange is also a project of the Tides Center—a left-wing dark money network funded by George Soros and other prominent liberal billionaires like Pierre Omidyar. The Tides Center serves as a hub for a variety of left-wing groups, channeling substantial funds from affluent donors and functioning as a "fiscal sponsor," enabling them to sidestep IRS registration.

Neither the NFL nor Community Justice Exchange responded to requests for comment.

A15 protesters last week were advised to refrain from engaging with police, with the promise of receiving "money bail, court fees and fines," and other legal services from Community Justice Exchange upon arrest. The bail fund's donation page was hosted by ActBlue—which is used by President Joe Biden and every major Democratic congressional campaign—earning ActBlue a 3.95 percent transaction fee for every contribution to the fund, according to its policies.

According to financial disclosures reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, Community Justice Exchange collected over $6 million in contributions since it became a grant partner of the NFL, significantly increasing its funding from previous years. It’s unclear how much of that funding came from the NFL.