Eagles Players Helping Community Out Locally With Social Justice Fund
The Eagles' Social Justice Fund has "amassed close to $500,000 to date" thanks to a deal struck between the Players Coalition and the NFL last fall, where funds are "set up so the players on each team can donate up to $250,000, with the team matching up to that amount," according to Tim McManus of ESPN.com. The Eagles have "distributed $190,000 so far to four Philadelphia-area nonprofit organizations." 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." A source said that other teams, including the Bears and Buccaneers, also have "started the process of allocating their funds." The Eagles "created a social justice leadership council which includes six players" -- Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor and Michael Bennett -- and five staff members in "charge of setting up the structure of the fund and helping with the application process." McManus noted cash bail has been a "primary focus of the Players Coalition." Jenkins said that their efforts with the nine individuals whose bail was posted "can be used as 'an example of success'" (ESPN.com, 11/26). Jenkins said that the "convening of officials and organizers was meant as a model that can be replicated around the country for community-led reform of the criminal justice system, beginning with its front door." In Philadelphia, Samantha Melamed notes the bailout was "paired with a resource fair, so those who were released could gain access to workforce training and social services" (PHILLY.com, 11/26).