Seahawks' players announced Friday the launching of a fund to "support education and leadership programs addressing equality and justice.''
In what they are calling “an effort to create lasting change and build a more compassionate and inclusive society” Seahawks’ players announced Friday they are launching the “Seahawks Players Equality & Justice for All Action Fund.”
The fund is designed “to support education and leadership programs addressing equality and justice.”
The team’s website bills the fund as “a tangible way for individuals or businesses to make a difference fighting injustice and inequality by supporting leadership and education programs.” Donations can be made at Seahawks.com/ActionFund.
While the fund was revealed less than a week after the Seahawks decided to stay in the locker room during the anthem prior to last Sunday’s game at Tennessee in reaction to comments made earlier by president Donald Trump critical of the league and its players, Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said the idea has been in the works for roughly a year-and-a-half.
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“I think it’s kind of been this whole process of when would be the right time because you need the momentum to kind of gain the funds as well,” Baldwin said. “So we thought that this was a unique and beautiful time to do it.”
The team says the fund will be housed at the Seattle Foundation, a nonprofit that manages nearly $1 billion in philanthropic investments.
Baldwin said among topics that could be targets for funding is training for police officers particularly in the area of de-escalation.
“Law enforcement needs more money for the training change that is taking place so that’s one of the things that is on the docket that we are going to look into,” Baldwin said.
The fund is believed to be only one of its kind in the NFL. Baldwin said it is proof that Seahawks’ players are doing more than simply talking or protesting.
“This is just another action item for us,” Baldwin said. “This gives us an opportunity to move the conversation off the field and actually into our communities and allowing fans and people outside this building to interact and know what we have been doing and trying to accomplish and actually take part in doing it with us.”
Coach Pete Carroll on Friday said the fund is “aimed at an educational leadership approach with the thought of aiming all the funding towards equality and justice and our guys are really excited about that and I jumped to support it and help them get started and hopefully we will take this opportunity to really do work to make a difference. … Hopefully we will do a good job and be able to touch a lot of people.”
The team’s statement read that “an advisory board, comprised of players, team leadership and business and community leaders will be formed in the coming week to steward the fund and determine how grants will be allocated to nonprofits.”
Baldwin and Carroll each said it remained unclear how the team will approach the anthem this week.
“I don’t know I haven’t put much thought into it,” Baldwin said after Friday’s practice. “We focused obviously on getting this together and then obviously my preparation for the game. That’s been vitally important too so really haven’t thought much about that, probably will in the next couple days. But obviously we have some time to think about that.”
The team announced the fund in a statement released via Twitter.