Through our formal partnership and consolidated effort to pursue our overlapping humanitarian and educational social justice missions with Players Coalition we are able to implement positive impacts on social justice and racial equality through advocacy, awareness, education and a shared allocation of resources.
VOTER RIGHTS & RESTORATION
- Amadou Dia is supporting a local campaign in Denver as part of the Players Coalition GOTV efforts around the November elections, working with local public transportation systems to enlist their support to get people to the polls by making ridership free on Election Day.
- Nkosi Burgess is supporting the Power the Polls campaign with a PSA and social media. Power the Polls is a new initiative that is working to recruit citizens to sign up as poll workers as there is an anticipated shortage of poll workers for this November’s election.
- Ray Gaddis is supporting ACLU Indiana’s Yes! You Can Vote campaign, which is raising awareness that those who have been previously incarcerated have the right to vote in Indiana.
- Nkosi Burgess will be participating in the University of Oklahoma student athlete virtual town hall on September 19 (pending availability). Ray Gaddis submitted a letter to three owners of the Philadelphia Union, urging them to turn Subaru Park into a voting venue for the November election; this letter was also supported by Carson Wentz (NFL), Reginald Wells (NFL Legend), Rodney McCleod (NFL), Roman Quinn (MLB), Josh Richardson (NBA), Matisse Thybulle (NBA) and Andrew McCutchen (MLB).
POLICE & COMMUNITY RELATIONS
- The BPC penned an op-ed on Medium on the need for police officers to be held accountable for the violence they inflict upon communities.
- Justin Morrow penned an op-ed urging the Ohio Governor to veto the Stand Your Ground legislation that was proposed by the Ohio state legislature, which would expand the current deeply flawed law.
- Jalil Anibaba and Wilfried Zahibo hosted a virtual Qualified Immunity Town Hall with Benjamin Watson (Players Coalition Task Force) and Rachael Rollins (Suffolk County DA) for over 150 attendees to highlight what qualified immunity is, why we’re pushing to end it, and what next steps look like. Ray Gaddis also supported the campaign with a qualified immunity PSA that ran on social media in advance of the town hall.
- Mark-Anthony Kaye, along with Juan Archuleta (MMA), Sebastian Joseph-Day (NFL), Torry Holt (Former NFL) and Tyson Ross (MLB) penned an op-ed and posted on twitter in support of the California Racial Justice Act, which would allow people who have their convictions infected by racial bias to challenge their convictions and receive relief. On 8/31, the bill passed out of the Assembly and is now headed for the Governor’s desk.
- Earl Edwards and Mark-Anthony Kaye are supporting a social media campaign around the California CRISES Act, urging the legislature and Governor to approve the bill which would provide non law-enforcement based responses to people in crisis.
- Jeremy Ebobisse will be supporting the Players Coalition campaign in support of HR 40, a bill that would create a commission to explore reparations and examine the institution of slavery. The campaign will include a virtual press conference, op-ed, social media and virtual public town hall.
- Nkosi Burgess participated in the Comp-U-Dopt drive-thru. The event distributed 90 computers to families with a child in K-12 education who don’t have access to a working device at home. Comp-U-Dopt was a recipient of one of Players Coalition’s 2020 education grants, as part of the ongoing efforts to close the digital divide in low-income communities and schools across the country.
- Ray Gaddis, Jeremy Ebobisse, Kelvin Beachum (NFL), Jacoby Brissett (NFL), Doug Baldwin (NFL), and Devin McCourty (NFL) hosted, “Listen & Learn: Addressing the Digital Divide,” a private discussion for current/former players, coaches, owners and partners to connect with and learn from subject matter experts and Players Coalition’s 2020 grant recipients on the importance of addressing the Digital Divide at this critical point in time for students and generations to come and the impact of Players Coalition grants in each market.
- Nkosi Burgess and Nic Harris (NFL) spoke to the student athletes at the University of Oklahoma about how they have a unique platform and position to lead others around them. In light of the acceptance of athletes speaking out, as voter registration dates draw near, and as we draw nearer to elections, they spoke to the students to equip and empower them to activate their fan bases with action items.
- Justin Morrow and Brandon Miller (USL) authored an op-ed urging the Ohio state legislature to pass the bipartisan, bicameral Cupp/Patterson plan to provide an equitable and constitutionally-required school funding system.
- Jeremy Ebobisse will be supporting the Every Child North Carolina education equity campaign along with Josh McCown (NFL), Chris Archer (MLB) and Torry Holt (retired NFL). Every Child NC is a community-led, statewide coalition of organizations, parents, teachers, and students who advocate for every child’s constitutional right to a sound basic education.
- Ray Gaddis recorded a PSA about the upcoming Indianapolis School board election to raise awareness on the importance of down-ballot voting as there are four seats up for election on the school board.
- Nkosi Burgess is leading Players Coalition local school investment efforts in Texas, helping to designate where funds will be contributed for the 2020-2021 school year, with additional opportunities for support and engagement throughout the year.
- During Black History Month, members of Players Coalition worked with Goalsetter, an app-based program working to close the racial wealth gap, during their “Drafted” campaign to assist kids from their locations of their choice to create Goalsetter savings accounts.
YOUTH JUSTICE REFORM
- Jeremy Ebobisse, Torrey Smith (NFL) and Aveion Cason (NFL) submitted written testimony to the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee regarding the need to pass the Maryland Juvenile Restoration Act. The bill would abolish life sentences without the possibility of parole for kids under the age of 18 and establish a judicial review mechanism and potential for sentence reduction after service of 20 years.
- Justin Morrow, Kendall Lamb (NFL), Chris Hubbard (NFL) submitted written testimony to the House of Representatives regarding the need to pass SB256. The bill would abolish life sentences without the possibility of parole for kids and grant parole eligibility for kids serving extreme sentences in adult prison.
- Jeremy Ebobisse, along with Torrey Smith (NFL) and Aveion Cason (NFL) authored an op-ed urging the Maryland legislature to pass the Maryland Juvenile Restoration Act, which would end juvenile life without parole to minor offenders in the state.
- Justin Morrow, along with Kendall Lamb (NFL) and Chris Hubbard (NFL) signed an op-ed that ran in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in support of Ohio SB256 to end juvenile life without parole in the state.
- Justin Morrow participated in a Cafe Momentum virtual dinner with impacted youth, Players Coalition expert alliance and Café Momentum leadership to discuss the power of perseverance, opportunity and transformation.
LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY SUCCESSES
- Senate Bill 2542 – In 2020, California Racial Justice Act: Mark-Anthony Kaye and other Players Coalition advocates successfully urged Governor Newsom to pass SB2542, which will allow people who have their convictions infected by racial bias to challenge their convictions and receive relief. An individual will get a new trial if a prosecutor uses racially coded language, charges a person of color in a way that is different from how white people are charged, or if a judge issues a sentence that is out-of-step with what white people in the system receive.
- Ohio Senate Bill 256: In 2020, Justin Morrow and other Players Coalition advocates helped successfully pass a bill that will abolish the sentence of life without the possibility of parole for kids, and grant parole eligibility for kids who are sentenced to extreme sentences in adult prison.
- Maryland SB 494: In 2021, Jeremy Ebobisse and other Players Coalition advocates helped successfully pass the Juvenile Restoration Act, which will abolish life without parole for kids under the age of 18 and establish a judicial review mechanism and potential for sentence reduction after service of 20 years.
- In 2021, Jeremy Ebobisse and other advocates of Players Coalition helped successfully pass “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future,” which is an education bill that will provide a significant amount of much-needed funding and critical policy changes to bring about more equity in Maryland’s public education.
About Players Coalition
Players Coalition is structured as an independent 501(c)(3) (charity) and 501(c)(4) (advocacy) organization, working with professional athletes, coaches and owners across leagues to improve social justice and racial equality in our country.