NFL and its Inspire Change social justice initiative. While the NFL season is over, Inspire Change remains a continued effort aimed to move us toward a more equal and just tomorrow by reducing barriers to opportunity.
On Friday the NFL premiered the latest installment of its Say their Stories series highlighting the story of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was a seven-year-old growing up in Detroit when her life was tragically cut short in 2010 due to gun violence during a police raid. The piece is narrated by Indianapolis Colts’ running back Nyheim Hines, who wore Stanley-Jones’s name on the back of his helmet this past season. The Say Their Stories series has run throughout the season to continue the theme of social justice and raise awareness of systemic racism that has resonated throughout the nation and enact fundamental change by amplifying the names and stories of victims of police brutality through player voices to drive the narrative forward.
Hines has been an active participant in The Colts’ extensive efforts to amplify the need to create awareness and change in communities throughout the country. In addition to ensuring that every player and coach in the organization was registered to vote ahead of the 2020 election, the team has pinpointed certain areas where they have worked to create positive changes within Indianapolis and inspire others to get involved.
This past season, over 1,400 players, coaches, and officials chose the name of a victim or a phrase like “It takes all of us” and “Black Lives Matter” to wear on helmet decals and/or custom cleats this season. Additional Say Their Stories PSAs include Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Julius Jones, Alton Sterling and Black Lives Matter. Below is a link to the full Aiyana Stanley-Jones PSA and a quote from Hines.
Nyheim Hines Quotes on Aiyana Stanley-Jones and The PSA:
- “It’s sad that the skin you’re born with, people look at so hard that they can’t look at your heart and soul first. I read through 100 cases when picking Ayana’s story and I really just thought about how she was just seven years old, and I thought about how innocent I was when I was seven years old.”
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