JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On the heels of the NFL’s announcement that the league will observe Juneteenth as a holiday, the Jaguars have become the latest franchise to announce they will be closing their team offices Friday in honor of the historical day.
Last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shared a statement announcing the NFL league office would be closed that day.
“It is a day to reflect on our past, but more importantly, consider how each one of us can continue to show up and band together to work toward a better future,” Goodell’s statement said.
Juneteenth honors the June 19, 1865 day that is recognized as the end of slavery in the country. On that day in Galveston, Texas, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union army read federal orders that all enslaved people in Texas were free. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution that abolished slavery was ratified roughly six months later.
Since the announcement that the NFL planned to recognize June 19 as a holiday, teams around the league have announced that they planned to follow suit.
“Employees have been encouraged to take this day to learn about Juneteenth and race relations, to visit places in Jacksonville that are important to the heritage of the local Black community, and to support Black-owned businesses,” the Jaguars said in a statement.
“All employees were provided resources on the history of Juneteenth, a list of local experiences in Jacksonville that bring the heritage of the Black community in the city to life and a list of local black-owned businesses that they can patronize.”