Over the last couple of years, social justice issues have been a talking point for many in the NFL and the Bears have announced a new initiative to address them in Chicago.
The Bears announced on Tuesday that the team’s players have pledged a $250,000 donation toward social justice initiatives and that the team will match that donation. The Bears players are the first in the NFL to maximize the matching program put in place by the league and the team said it will match any funds the players donate above that figure.
“This whole thing got started a little over two years ago when obviously Colin Kaepernick and some players around the NFL were taking knees, and there was a big discussion about what can we as players and as a team do to help address some of the issues that people are protesting,” Bears linebacker Sam Acho said. “And so that’s why we got together and said not only do we want to do stuff in the community, but we also want to put our money behind it.
A committee made up of five players — Acho, tight end Trey Burton, quarterback Chase Daniel, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky — and four executives, including team chairman George McCaskey, will be guiding the way that the fund is dispersed. They have met with the University of Chicago Crime Lab to find out areas where they can make an impact on education, community/law enforcement relations and criminal justice reform.