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As demonstrations in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd continue across the country, athletes and owners of major U.S. sports teams have raised their voices in solidarity with protesters.
The Baltimore Ravens have been no exception.
On June 1, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti announced that the team and his Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation were jointly committing $1 million to support social justice reform throughout the Baltimore community.
Bisciotti announced that a committee of current and former Ravens players will determine which Baltimore-area programs will directly benefit from the contribution.
“There is nothing I can say to ease the pain felt by African-American communities across our country. No words will repair the damage that has been done,” Bisciotti said. “Like many people, I am sickened, disheartened and shaken by the acts of racism that continue to overwhelm our society. The most recent killing, involving George Floyd, is yet another tragic example of the discrimination that African-Americans face each day.”
Between 2013 and 2019, police in the United States killed 7,666 people, according to data compiled by Mapping Police Violence, a research and advocacy group. That number includes 80 Maryland residents.
On May 25, Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed in while in Minneapolis police custody. His death has prompted thousands of protesters to march in cities around the world, demanding justice and an end to police violence.
Mapping Police Violence noted that the number of police killings in the U.S. disproportionately affects African Americans. Despite only making up 13 percent of the U.S. population, Blacks are two and a half times as likely as whites to be killed by the police.
“Now, more than ever, we must all strengthen our pursuit of positive change, as we stand with peaceful protestors around the country,” Bisciotti said. “We must all seek to understand by listening better and learning more. We must all discover new ways to unite. We must all work to break the cycle of systematic racial injustice.
“Our players have been — and will continue to be — at the forefront of this change,” he said. “We believe in their commitment to furthering social justice and invoking meaningful change. We stand side by side with them, in full support.”