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Players Coalition News

NFL activists: Nation should follow Philly’s lead on bail reform, nonviolent charges

By Bail Reform, Criminal Justice Reform, End Mass Incarceration, Op-Eds, Players Coalition News

Last year, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner stopped seeking cash bail for a variety of nonviolent charges, including drug possession and prostitution. Altogether, there were 25 charges for which cash bail was eliminated, and they amounted to 61 percent of the number of cases brought in Philadelphia in 2018.

report out this month shows that Krasner’s reforms worked. In fact, his plan shines as a model for cities across the nation to follow.

On the Players Coalition

By Players Coalition News

During Super Bowl week, the group of player activists known as the Players Coalition—the Malcolm Jenkins/Anquan Boldin-led organization advocating action on civic and political and police issues mostly in inner cities—gave out six grants totaling $2 million to non-profit organizations fighting for change. It’s rewarding enough for the Players Coalition to see things like member Devin McCourtyfight—and succeed—to raise the state prosecution age in Massachusetts from 7 to 12. It’s another thing to see players be involved in funding groups promoting better police/community relations; in helping restore voting rights to some 1.4 million former prison inmates; in meeting with legislators to spur criminal-justice reform; and in working for educational opportunities in schools where few exist.

Punishing poverty: How Philly’s cash bail system does more harm than good | Opinion

By Bail Reform, Criminal Justice Reform, Op-Eds, Players Coalition News

Our money bail system is a travesty. Every day in Philadelphia, people who are accused but not convicted of a crime are held in jail not because they are guilty, but because they are too poor to purchase their freedom. Judges here routinely put a price on a person’s liberty, and it is often one they cannot afford. One in four people is assigned money bail of $50,000 or more.

Philadelphia Eagles use social justice funds to pay bail for 9

By Bail Reform, Criminal Justice Reform, Players Coalition News

PHILADELPHIA — Resources from an unprecedented agreement between the Players Coalition and the NFL to address social justice issues are starting to be distributed.

On the day before Thanksgiving, nine people were bailed out of jail in Philadelphia via a $50,000 grant from the Eagles Social Justice Fund, made up of money raised by the players and matched by the team.

12 sports figures who would make great politicians

By Players Coalition News, Voter Restoration Rights

In honor of Election Day, here are 12 sports figures who could excel running political campaigns and governing the people. …

starting with LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers forward and part-time TV producer was politically active long before he came to Hollywood, where his voice can be heard even louder.

James speaks up on issues of racial inequality. He’s used his platform to press for change with the Trayvon Martin case, the Donald Sterling racism saga, the Michael Brown verdict and the death of Eric Garner. That’s carried over into his television career where he’s co-produced the sports and politics documentary “Shut Up and Dribble.”

Redskins’ Josh Norman co-authors Players’ Tribune essay encouraging people to vote on Election Day

By Players Coalition News, Voter Restoration Rights

Josh Norman wants you to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The Washington Redskins cornerback co-authored an essay in The Players’ Tribunepublished Monday, reminding people why it’s important to vote and what’s at stake during this election.

Representing the Players Coalition, Norman and Eagles’ Chris Long, Jets’ Kelvin Beachum and retired 10-year veteran Matt Forte argue that voting offers people a “chance to make a moral statement about what we want our country to be and what values we cherish.”

‘OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT’: NFL AND NBA STARS URGE FANS TO VOTE IN MIDTERMS

By Players Coalition News, Voter Restoration Rights

NFL and NBA players have added their voices to the chorus of high-profile personalities encouraging Americans to cast their vote in the midterm elections.

Members of the Players Coalition, an organization made up of NFL players that aims to address important social issues, urged Americans to vote on Election Day because “our lives depend on it.”

‘We are hurting’: NFL player activists join calls to vote in key midtern election

By Players Coalition News, Voter Restoration Rights

A group of activist NFL players urged members of the public to vote in US midterm elections on Monday, describing the ballot as a chance to make a “moral statement” about the state of the nation. In a joint letter released on The Players’ Tribune website, the players said recent deadly shootings reflected a national identity of “pain and despair, of confusion and anger.”

Our Lives Depend on It By Kelvin Beachum, Matt Forte, Chris Long & Josh Norman

By Op-Eds, Players Coalition News, Voter Restoration Rights

On October 24, a white man walked into a Kroger in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and shot and killed a black man and woman while they were shopping. Earlier the same day, the gunman had tried to enter a black church, but by the grace of God could not get the doors open.  Earlier this year, another gunman murdered 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On October 27, a man shot and killed 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue as some were celebrating the birth of new life, a baby boy.

Saints Demario Davis, Ben Watson credited with getting Louisiana voting-restoration law passed

By Players Coalition News

Thousands of Louisianans are getting their right to vote returned to them, and New Orleans Saints players Demario Davis and Ben Watson are getting credit for helping push the years-long effort over the finish line.

Davis, a seventh-year linebacker, and Watson, a tight end in his 15th season, are active members of the Players Coalition. They stepped up to add their considerable voices to the fight for passage of House Bill 265 earlier this year, after the Coalition told them about it.

Redskins’ Josh Norman tackling education issues with Players Coalition

By Education & Economic Advancement, Players Coalition News

On his day off, Josh Norman went to work.

The veteran cornerback and defensive leader of the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins was busy listening to educators and students talk about the state of education in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, trying to determine what he can do to help in his other key role as a vocal member of the Players Coalition. Norman has taken the lead in focusing the coalition’s efforts on education reform, and he gathered a lot of useful information during an all-day tour.

What will Golden Tate bring to the Eagles? What has Malcolm Jenkins brought to the Players Coalition? Anquan Boldin weighs in

By Players Coalition News

BOCA RATON, Fla. – While former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin never played for the Eagles, his ties to the organization – especially recently – are relatively strong.

For years, Boldin was rumored to be of interest to Philadelphia and Eagles fans clamored for the three-time Pro Bowl player during the prime of his career. His retirement last season ended any hope for a possible late-career stint with the franchise that he has always been connected to but never played for.

Vote Yes on 1: Why We Must Treat and Not Jail Addiction By Malcolm Jenkins and Austin Mack

By Op-Eds, Players Coalition News

Mass incarceration is the most urgent civil rights issue of our time. America’s stubborn commitment to the failed war on drugs, tough-on-crime policies, and lengthy prison sentences has resulted in the caging of a breathtaking number of black and brown people. These policies have not made us safer, and they have not addressed the underlying causes of crime, such as poverty, mental illness, a lack of access to health care, and relatedly, substance abuse. Instead, these policies have ripped apart families and neighborhoods, leaving a blight on communities of color that will last for decades unless we immediately reverse course.

Give Georgians the Right to Vote By Takeo Spikes, Adalius Thomas and Michael Jenkins

By Op-Eds, Players Coalition News

The right to vote is perhaps our most fundamental. It lets you have a say in health care, in education, and in other key facets of public life. It lets you pick your elected representatives, who will determine the course of America’s environmental future. It lets you pick your senators, who will approve the judges who sit on courts for decades. Deny people the right to vote, and democracy crumbles. Keep people away from the ballot box, and they must depend on others to protect their rights, and hope that they elect officials who will do the same. In the history of America, that has not worked out well for people of color.

Silence on NFL’s anthem issue will speak volumes at fall owners meetings

By Players Coalition News

When the NFL froze a newly adopted national anthem conduct policy nearly three months ago, the publicly stated excuse was the league decided to open a line of negotiation with the NFL Players Association. In reality, it was the league embracing a cooling period to consider the ramifications of aggravating a controversy that had receded from the full-throated peaks of the previous season.

Get Involved - Conversation

Former NFL Player Anquan Boldin Weighs In On Political Activism By Athletes

By Criminal Justice Reform, Players Coalition News

There are more important things in life than catching footballs. Those are the words of Anquan Boldin, who retired from the NFL last year after 14 years as a wide receiver to focus on a new career – political activist. Boldin is co-founder of the Players Coalition. That’s a group of player activists that emerged from the take-a-knee controversy. The Players Coalition gets funding from the NFL for its activities; among them – getting young people out to vote, which Anquan Boldin was working on just last night. He was back at Florida State in Tallahassee where he went to college to talk with current students. Anquan Boldin, hey there.

Panthers’ Torrey Smith uses off day to listen, learn, act as part of Players Coalition

By Players Coalition News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For most NFL players, the typical causes of perspiration are the physical requirements of football. Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith on Tuesday was sweating because he was standing in the sun and wearing a dark gray suit … while questioning district attorney Spencer Merriweather on the issue of bail reform in front of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse.

Malcolm Jenkins, Richard Sherman host Players Coalition events

By Players Coalition News, Prosecutor Accountability

Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin are leading an initiative with the Players Coalition to hold District Attorney forums across several states to educate the public on the role of the DA and how it impacts day to day lives of citizens, encouraging people to vote in these key elections in 2018.  Malcolm held forums in Sacramento & Oakland, California in May alongside Doug Baldwin, Richard Sherman and Johnson Bademosi.  On June 14, Anquan Boldin and Carl Davis held a DA forum in PG County, Maryland.  On June 19, Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater and Jason McCourty held a DA forum in Boston with support from Duron Harmon, and on June 20, Players Coalition held one with the support of Chris Long in St. Louis. 

Archives

Criminal Justice Reform

NFL activists: Nation should follow Philly’s lead on bail reform, nonviolent charges

By Bail Reform, Criminal Justice Reform, End Mass Incarceration, Op-Eds, Players Coalition News

Last year, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner stopped seeking cash bail for a variety of nonviolent charges, including drug possession and prostitution. Altogether, there were 25 charges for which cash bail was eliminated, and they amounted to 61 percent of the number of cases brought in Philadelphia in 2018.

report out this month shows that Krasner’s reforms worked. In fact, his plan shines as a model for cities across the nation to follow.

Punishing poverty: How Philly’s cash bail system does more harm than good | Opinion

By Bail Reform, Criminal Justice Reform, Op-Eds, Players Coalition News

Our money bail system is a travesty. Every day in Philadelphia, people who are accused but not convicted of a crime are held in jail not because they are guilty, but because they are too poor to purchase their freedom. Judges here routinely put a price on a person’s liberty, and it is often one they cannot afford. One in four people is assigned money bail of $50,000 or more.

Philadelphia Eagles use social justice funds to pay bail for 9

By Bail Reform, Criminal Justice Reform, Players Coalition News

PHILADELPHIA — Resources from an unprecedented agreement between the Players Coalition and the NFL to address social justice issues are starting to be distributed.

On the day before Thanksgiving, nine people were bailed out of jail in Philadelphia via a $50,000 grant from the Eagles Social Justice Fund, made up of money raised by the players and matched by the team.

Get Involved - Conversation

Former NFL Player Anquan Boldin Weighs In On Political Activism By Athletes

By Criminal Justice Reform, Players Coalition News

There are more important things in life than catching footballs. Those are the words of Anquan Boldin, who retired from the NFL last year after 14 years as a wide receiver to focus on a new career – political activist. Boldin is co-founder of the Players Coalition. That’s a group of player activists that emerged from the take-a-knee controversy. The Players Coalition gets funding from the NFL for its activities; among them – getting young people out to vote, which Anquan Boldin was working on just last night. He was back at Florida State in Tallahassee where he went to college to talk with current students. Anquan Boldin, hey there.

Orleans Parish chief defender: Public defense needs funding, reform

By Criminal Justice Reform, Public Defenders

On Sept. 11, the Orleans Public Defenders Office and other justice reform advocates hosted NFL Players Coalition members from the New Orleans Saints; Commissioner Roger Goodell; New Orleans Saints President Dennis Lauscha; and Saints owner, Gayle Benson for a listen and learn tour of New Orleans’ criminal justice system. After a day of listening to frontline advocates and witnessing the New Orleans criminal justice system firsthand, we came away united to make our community more equitable and more just.

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Police & Community Relations

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Education & Economic Advancement

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, spurned by White House, spends day doing good works

By Education & Economic Advancement

Johnson Bademosi and Malcolm Jenkins visited the Maya Angelou School on behalf of the Players Coalition on their graduation day on June 15, and exploring the model of this unique school for children who have been thrust into traumatic situations.  99% of the school’s students are African-American.  25% have been incarcerated or under school supervision.  Malcolm had previously planned to go with a number of teammates to the school on June 5. 

Our Kids Don’t Have Time To Waste: Fund Our Schools- By Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater and Jason McCourty

By Education & Economic Advancement, Op-Eds

July 24th, Patriots players (and Coalition members) Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater and Jason McCourty co-authored an Op-Ed to members of the Massachusetts Education Budget Committee requesting their support to place all 5 recommendations from the FRBC (Foundation Budget Review Commission) Report that would provide the necessary funding to economically disadvantaged schools.   The players also sent letters to Senators and House Representatives and conducted efforts via social media with support from other Coalition members. Please see the Op-Ed at https://bit.ly/2Ll35LL