Head Coaches and front office executives representing the city's three major professional sports teams - the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians - announced today a sports alliance to develop a sustainable and direct strategy to address social injustice facing the city of Cleveland and all Northeast Ohio communities. The alliance will also focus on improving the relationship between law enforcement and its citizens, encouraging nonpartisan voting activities and increasing the opportunities for quality education for everyone.
The key leaders from each team include Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman and Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff; Browns General Manager Andrew Berry and Head Coach Kevin Stefanski; and Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti, General Manager Mike Chernoff and Manager Terry Francona. The group will also utilize their respective team platforms as individuals and collectively to coordinate activities that invoke a call to action and positive outcomes. Players from each team will also have an opportunity to get involved.
"We have an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting impact on society and the Cavaliers are committed to help bring about change," said Altman. "The social and economic disparity in our community reveals some ugly truths, and Coach Bickerstaff and I are honored to be at the table to address these issues with such a prominent group of our peers. We never take for granted our place in the fabric of Cleveland and hopefully our coming together inspires others to join us."
While initial activations will concentrate on voting, voter education and nonpartisan voter registration, this group will also connect and work in partnership with community and civic leaders and minority organizations to address issues impacting the individuals they represent.
"We understand the platform our organization has to make a positive impact on these important issues," said Berry. "When Coach Stefanski and I began discussing how we might be able to elevate and broaden that impact by expanding the dialogue to our counterparts in Cleveland, it quickly became apparent that partnering with the other teams in our city would help our region come together so we can collectively address the problems that we've all been working to help solve independently."
The foundation of this alliance is the community's emotional connection to the Cavaliers, Browns and Indians and the platform each share to be a positive agent of change.
"We recognize the profound impact that professional sports have on the greater Cleveland community, and the enormous responsibility that comes with such a platform," said Antonetti. "While the circumstances that highlighted the need for this partnership are disheartening, Tito, Mike and I are excited by the opportunity to work with such a thoughtful and diverse group of leaders to identify opportunities to be a positive force for change. There is a lot of work to do, and we believe that this partnership will serve to amplify our collective impact."