The 11 professional sports organizations in greater Los Angeles are joining together in a bid to enact societal change and eradicate racial injustice.
The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles will partner with the Play Equity Fund, a charity established to drive social change within Los Angeles communities through programming and sports. The alliance aims to "drive investment and impact for social justice through sport" and to better cater to underserved populations, with an emphasis on Black communities.
The 11 professional teams making a five-year commitment are the NFL's Rams and Chargers, MLB's Dodgers and Angels, NBA's Lakers and Clippers, NHL's Kings and Anaheim Ducks, WNBA's Sparks and MLS' Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club.
“The Los Angeles region is one of the world’s most competitive markets, and sports is one of the world’s most competitive industries. But these organizations are putting their competitive instincts aside to work collaboratively for social justice,” said Renata Simril, president of the Play Equity Fund.
The Lakers and Clippers are among the 11 Los Angeles teams joining together to fight racial injustice. (Photo: Kirby Lee, Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Individual teams also are contributing their own initiatives to the overall effort. The Kings have created The LA Kings Inclusion Initiative, which seeks to help eliminate racism within hockey by focusing on hiring and recruiting, youth development programs, fan education and voting and census partnerships with the state of California.
“Diversity and Inclusion are critically important for our organization. Amidst all of the outcry that was amplified with the murder of George Floyd and countless others, and the recurring evidence of systemic racism in our society, we have devoted an enormous amount of time looking inward at our organization and our sport at all levels here locally in Los Angeles,” said LA Kings chief operating officer Kelly Cheeseman. “It is clearly evident that we can do more to contribute to systemic change.”
The Kings initiative will be led by Blake Bolden, the team's American Hockey League scout and growth and inclusion specialist. She became the first Black professional women's hockey player, playing in both the Canadian Women's Hockey League and National Women's Hockey League.
The alliance and Play Equity Fund will hold a Sports for Social Justice Symposium on July 22, which coincides with National Youth Sports Week July 20-24. The webinar will include social justice leaders, sports commentators and representatives from the alliance's teams.
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