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The Eagles are winning on the field and are one of the favorites to contend for the Super Bowl. Yet their success hasn’t caused the team to forget about their fans in the City of Brotherly Love and the challenges they face.
Like all major cities, Philadelphia has experienced its share of crime, poverty and inequality. Well, those issues haven’t gone unnoticed by the Eagles, and late last week, they revealed some of the ways they’re addressing those problems.
As part of the NFL’s “Inspire Change” initiative, the team announced new social justice campaigns focused on reducing gun violence and closing the wealth gap. Capitalizing on the momentum from last year’s program, which centered on gun violence, the Eagles, are donating over $410,000 to nine local nonprofits that focus on these very issues. The money is provided by the Eagles’ Social Justice Fund, which is funded by donations from the players and the team.
Team executives met with players like Jason Kelce, Miles Sanders and A.J. Brown to discuss donation options and agreed that they had to take a strategy that addressed both immediate and long-term solutions.
“I think the violence starts with being in poverty,” said Sanders to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I understand all of it and I grew up from that. And I overcame a lot of that, but I also know a lot of people that are still stuck in that situation. … So it hits more home to me.”
Sanders grew up in Pittsburgh, where he witnesses the effects of poverty and violence and the intimate relationship they share. That’s why he, and everyone involved, agreed that they need to work with organizations whose impact in the present will ultimately benefit communities and individuals in the future.
“I know every single one of those kids [affected by gun violence], they look up to [an] Eagle or [other] player. They look up to guys like us,” Sanders said. “I actually came from that type of environment. So hopefully when I’m out there balling, [they] can say, ‘he was one of us.’”
His sentiments were echoed by Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie.
“On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the nine grant recipients for all of their hard work and dedication to creating safer, more equitable communities for all Philadelphians,” said Lurie.
“We admire and thank them for leveling the playing field in our communities. I commend our players for taking action and identifying these organizations for the transformational work they do each and every day, and for leveraging the Eagles Social Justice Fund to help combat a major issue facing our city.”
For a list of the organizations that the Eagles are donating to, click here.
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