MIAMI—The Miami Dolphins in partnership with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau kicked off the first Football Unites Cultural tour experiencing historical locations throughout Miami. Miami Dolphins players Jerome Baker, Leonte Carroo, Matt Haack, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Jamiyus Pittman and Jason Sanders, alumni Eddie Hill and Sam Madison, as well as Dolphins staff spent the day with local youth, community leaders and law enforcement to experience the richness and diversity of the area.
Photo gallery: Football Unites Cultural Tour
"I'm new to Miami so it's cool just learning the different history, all the different parts of Miami, the different cultures, the different backgrounds, talking to different people and enjoying it," Miami Dolphins Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said. "Understanding how people think, how they operate – I think is a big part of that is their culture and their background. The Dolphins do a real good job of trying to express the importance of going out into the community and understanding people's culture."
As part of these educational tours, the group made stops at the Lyric Theater in Overtown with lunch provided by Jackson's Soul Food and later visited Freedom Tower and Cuban restaurant Café Versailles.
"Today was a great opportunity to really learn about the city of Miami. A lot of the rookies came out, hung out with us alumni and we had a group of young talented youth from around South Florida to take through the city of Miami to give them the opportunity to understand the rich history that we have here and how it really began," Miami Dolphins Alumni Sam Madison said. "When you talk about football, we always talk about have pride in your job and what you do, you need to have pride in the city you grew up in. And that's what we are trying to show, give back, and the Miami Dolphins definitely going above and beyond to do that and show that."
Youth of the Football Unites grant programs were selected to accompany these tours, which included 5000 Role Models, North Miami Beach PAL, North Miami PAL, Pridelines, SAVE, YWCA and NOBLE.
"What we did today in partnership with the Miami Dolphins is absolutely amazing. It is so unbelievable how we've come together to unite these organizations together with the youth of our community that's going to carry on everything that they're learning from today forward," Executive Director North Miami Beach PAL Lynda Roberts said.
This tour marks the first of four Football Unites Cultural Tours scheduled throughout the year. These unique experiences are a result of a joint partnership with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. The team is scheduled to visit locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward County, including the African American Research Library, Holocaust Memorial and Jewish Museum, Liberty City, Little Haiti, Seminole Tribe and South Beach Palace.
"What a day of education and connection within Miami's multicultural communities of Historic Overtown and Little Havana. The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is happy to partner with Football Unites and the Miami Dolphins Football team on tours connecting the cultural jewels of Miami with our players, youth and community stakeholders," Vice President of Multicultural Tourism & Development for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau Connie Kinnard said.