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Volume 25 No. 107
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Bears Committing Over $500K To Local Social Justice Programs

Bears players and ownership are committing more than $500,000 to "local social justice programs, becoming the first team to maximize the NFL's new social justice initiative," according to Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com. Donation recipients with "ties to social justice and an emphasis on education, community/police relations and criminal justice reform are in the final stages of being selected and will be announced at a later date." Bears QBs Mitchell Trubisky and Chase Daniel, LB Sam Acho, TE Trey Burton and DT Akiem Hicks are "joining with four members of the front office" and Chair George McCaskey to "lead the initiative." McCaskey said, "I've taken Sam's lead on a bunch of these adventures, I guess you would call them, visiting a couple prisons, going on a ride-a-long with the Chicago Police Department and looking at some of the initiatives that are happening in the community. It's been a real education for me" (NFL.com, 9/18).

FIGHTING FOR A CAUSE: In Chicago, Phil Thompson notes former NFLer Matt Forte yesterday appealed for Cook County (Ill.) to "change how it establishes bail for people awaiting trial." Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of an order "requiring judges to set affordable bail amounts for defendants charged with nonviolent felonies." The Chicago Community Bond Fund's campaign "aligns with a national movement spearheaded in part" by the NFL Players Coalition, which "tapped Forte to represent the cause in Chicago through Forte's former Jets teammate Demario Davis." Forte said, "The Players Coalition, the great thing about it, is they have a lot of different fronts that they are fighting against. We can as players kind of pick and choose whatever your passion is about. I'm all about helping anyone who has been wronged or injustice of any type." Forte also "credited the Players Coalition for creating a culture and support network for tackling social issues." Forte: "We're just trying to motivate and inspire a lot more professional athletes who have this platform to get up and not sit back in our houses because we've been paid millions for playing a game, but to fight for others who need it" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/19).