Matt Ryan donates $500,000 to help Atlanta’s black community

Darin Gantt
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has pledged $500,000 toward a fundraiser he’s establishing to help the black community in Atlanta.

Via Vaughn McClure of ESPN, the Falcons quarterback hopes to raise $2 million in total.

“Last week I made a commitment to listening and learning, and one of the messages that hit home for me was the difference between reacting to a situation and responding to a situation,” Ryan said in a statement. “For far too long, I have reacted to social injustice with empathy and silent support but failed to follow through with active support. I feel the time has come to RESPOND. For ALL of us to respond.

“I see my city hurting, which is why I’m starting a fundraiser to help improve conditions for people of color in the city of Atlanta. . . . Over the next few weeks, months I’m going to listen to the needs of the black community and get guidance on how I can be most impactful. I’m going to get input from local grassroots organizations as well as community leaders who are committed to making change.”

He also made a statement on Instagram after the death of George Floyd, acknowledging that he can’t understand the depth of the country’s racial issues, but promising “listening and learning with all humility and compassion.”

That kind of action made an immediate impression on his teammates.

“For Ice to show the support and that he’s got love, it’s really just an acknowledgement that he understands,” safety Ricardo Allen said. “For Ice to come from probably a totally different background and place in life then I come from — and I can’t expect him to fully feel what it feels like to grow up in the hood or what it truly feels like to be a black man in America — but for him to actually take that stance and say that and let us know that he feels us, I appreciate that.”

It’s a good step for Ryan (and for Atlanta), and puts him on firmer footing than some other quarterbacks in the news lately.

Matt Ryan donates $500,000 to help Atlanta’s black community originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

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