The Los Angeles Rams football team announced yesterday that players took part in the annual “Giving Tuesday” charity campaign by donating $750,000 to several local nonprofit organizations focusing on social justice.
According to a Rams news release, the funds will be disbursed among 25 groups that are “working to address education inequities, youth justice, community-police relations and anti-recidivism as well as providing access to mentors and basic human needs including housing and food.”
Rams players came together earlier this year after the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and other people of color sparked protests, civil unrest, and national discussions about societal injustices and systemic racism. The athletes decided to pool their resources to financially support nonprofits addressing those issues.
Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth revealed the donations to leaders of several recipient organizations via Zoom conference calls. On Tuesday, the NFL franchise posted a video on social media showing their delighted reactions. Mr. Whitworth explained that his teammates “said ‘hey, we want to make a difference, and we want to make it now.’”
Some of the groups were forced to cancel fundraising events this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Committed to making a difference in our community.
Rams players award $750,000 to local social justice non-profits. #GivingTuesday pic.twitter.com/75TJhkQB2R
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 1, 2020
“In my 15 years in the NFL, this has definitely been one of the more inspiring things that I have had the opportunity to be part of,” said Whitworth, a four-time Pro-Bowler. “It was an amazing process that allowed us to learn about a variety of nonprofits working across Los Angeles to positively impact lives and advance social justice.”
The drive was led by Whitworth, defensive linemen Michael Brockers and Sebastian Joseph-Day, along with punter Johnny Hekker. They determined how to allocate the money, the news release said.
“As a leader on this team, it was important to me to be part of these conversations,” said Brockers. “My teammates and I are very aware of the social injustices that continue to occur, and we made a decision to become actively involved in helping to be part of the change that is desperately needed.”
The recipient non-profit organizations include A Place Called Home ($50,000); Brotherhood Crusade ($50,000); College Track ($50,000); Heart of Los Angeles ($50,000); Homeboy Industries ($50,000); SoLa I Can Foundation ($50,000); Anti-Recidivism Coalition ($40,000); Liberty Hill Foundation ($40,000); Operation Progress ($30,000); Partnership for Los Angeles Schools ($30,000); Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles ($25,000); Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles ($25,000); Children’s Institute ($25,000); Fulfillment Fund ($25,000); St. Joseph Center ($25,000); Business of Student Success ($20,000); Communities in Schools ($20,000); Covenant House ($20,000); HomeLight Family Living ($20,000); LA Family Housing ($20,000); LAPD Community Safety Partnership ($20,000); LA Regional Food Bank ($20,000); Los Angeles Room and Board ($20,000); Sharefest ($20,000); and Social Justice Learning Institute ($20,000).
GivingTuesday Organizers describe the yearly effort, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, as “a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.” Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich serves on its board of directors, along with Jonathan Soros, the founder of a private investment firm and son of billionaire philanthropist George Soros.