The Philadelphia Eagles helped nine people be home for Thanksgiving after paying their bail.
The NFL team used $50,000 from the Eagles Social Justice Fund, made up from donations by players that is matched by the team, because team members said that the only reason the nine people were still behind bars was that they couldn’t afford to pay to get out, ESPN reported.
“So it’s not a matter of public safety or being convicted of a crime, which they haven’t yet, it’s just they’re simply too poor for their freedom,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told ESPN.
Jenkins and the Players Coalition also set up a services fair Monday that will help those they helped to free to get in touch with grassroots organizations to help turn their lives around.
So far, the Eagles Social Justice Fund has raised nearly $500,000. The NFL and the Players Coalition agreed to allow each NFL team to set up similar funds with donations of up to $250,000 from players that are matched by each team, ESPN reported.
As for the Eagles, the team has so far handed out $190,000 to nonprofit organizations in Philly like the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center and the local United Way.
The Eagles are not the only team to help with social causes. The Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers also have started handing out funding.
Earlier this year, Aaron Rodgers contacted Legal Action of Wisconsin to see if the organization and the Green Bay Packers’ social justice group would would be a good match for one of five $50,000 grants, Sports Illustrated reported.
According to Sports Illustrated, all 32 NFL teams have something that comes under the social justice category.
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