Ravens join growing list of NFL teams honoring Juneteenth as holiday

Andrew Gillis
NBC Sports Washington

Ravens offices will be closed Friday as the team honors Juneteenth as a holiday, the team announced Wednesday.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas and general Gordon Granger read federal orders of the Civil War's conclusion and that those previously enslaved were free. It is the date of the emancipation of the last freed slaves in the country.

"In light of all the recent events in the past several weeks, it seems a particularly appropriate time for us to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday this year and in future years," team president Dick Cass said in a statement. "Celebrating Juneteenth will give us all an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come and on how far we have to go."

The day is still not recognized as a national holiday, though Maryland recognized it as one in May 2014. Currently, 47 states recognize the day as a holiday. 

The Ravens join a growing list of NFL teams and the league itself to add the day as a paid holiday, as a handful of other teams made similar announcements this week. 

RELATED ARTICLE: REDSKINS TO CLOSE OFFICES TO RECOGNIZE JUNETEENTH, RON RIVERA ANNOUNCES

Recently, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti announced a commitment of $1 million to social justice causes in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing at the hands of Minneapolis police. 

The team released a video last week with Bisciotti saying the phrase, "Black Lives Matter," and explicitly mentioning police brutality and systematic racism in the United States.

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Ravens join growing list of NFL teams honoring Juneteenth as holiday originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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