Sometimes it can be easy to forget that the warriors who strap up in pads and helmets every week also have crucial off-the-field motivations they constantly work to fix when they can. One day after the Bears captured their first-ever win under head coach Matt Nagy, the franchise announced an organized mission to donate $500,000 to local social justice programs around Chicago.
After the NFL announced a new social justice initiative back in May that donated close to $90 million for programs around the country fighting for social equality, the Bears officially became the first NFL team to join their hands in with the league. Of every team in the NFL, Chicago is the first to maximize the league’s new directive to it’s fullest. A mandate some Bears say they were inspired to partake in thanks to the efforts of a certain former 49ers quarterback.
“I feel like the best way to get change, is by committing to the kids that can still be molded and conditioned into the proper choices,” said Akiem Hicks of the Bears’ newly formed social justice committee.
“I know this isn’t the first time that guys have been active in their community. This is just a big step as saying ‘we are fully committed, we’re all in.’ I think that’s a great issue that was brought up by (Colin) Kaepernick”
Ownership led by George McCaskey will donate $250,000, while the Bears players themselves, represented by Hicks, Sam Acho, Mitchell Trubisky, and Trey Burton will donate the other $250,000. In doing this, the Bears hope to enact a responsible measure of positive change and growth in a youthful foundation in a time where the country is as divided as ever.
They, more than anything, hope to be the galvanizing force for a movement.
“Hopefully this creates some type of domino effect,” said Trubisky. “There’s no bragging rights to being the first besides another team saying, ‘oh hey, we’re raising the money too in our locker room. Because then you have a bunch of communities not only rallied around a football team, but they become better places to live in.”
Robert is the Editor-in-chief of The Blitz Network (subscribe here!), the managing editor of Windy City Gridiron, and writes for a host of other fine publications. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.