MIAMI GARDENS, FL – As part of the Miami Dolphins FOOTBALL UNITES™ program and NFL's Inspire Change platform, Dolphins players Sam Eguavoen, Terrill Hanks, Patrick Laird, Jonathan Ledbetter, Ken Webster, and Christian Wilkins, youth of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami and local law enforcement officers gathered to launch the Bigs in Blue program through fellowship on Tuesday, Sept. 24. The Bigs in Blue program will provide the 2019 Dolphins rookie class with the opportunity to participate in the community as mentors and foster new relationships with law enforcement and youth.
"We are excited to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami through the FOOTBALL UNITES™ and Inspire Change platforms," Miami Dolphins Senior Vice President of Communications & Community Affairs Jason Jenkins said. "Bigs in Blue is an amazing program that inspires youth and bridges the gap between law enforcement and the community. We are deeply committed to helping these young men and women level the playing field so they are successful in life and appreciate the platform we have to help them on their path to greatness."
"Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami is honored to partner with the Miami Dolphins' FOOTBALL UNITES™ Program," Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami President and CEO Gale Nelson said. "Our focus on social justice through our 'Bigs in Blue' police mentoring program has increased trust and respect between our youth and law enforcement. The end result is a level playing field and success in the game of life."
This event is part of a season-long initiative with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. Further events with the rookies and youth will include a game day experience, Halloween trick or treat experience, Publix Cooking School and a mock draft.
"This is just an awesome opportunity for us to be here today. Tuesday is our day off, but it is very important to always give back and get out in the community," Miami Dolphins Defensive Tackle Christian Wilkins said. "With the mentorship program, we are learning a lot from each other. A lot of people from a lot of different walks of life – We came out here and had some fun today, united, and got to learn a little bit about each other."
This event is part of an ongoing series of the #DolphinsHuddlefor100 service projects as part of the NFL's 100th celebration. The NFL has invited fans, players, clubs and employees to join Huddle for 100, an effort to inspire 1 million people to volunteer 100 minutes of their time to make meaningful contributions to their communities.
These efforts and initiatives align with the organization's goal to level the playing field through the power of teamwork to inspire a healthier, more educated and united South Florida community. Dolphins Chairman of the Board & Managing General Partner Stephen Ross and Dolphins players created the FOOTBALL UNITES™ program as a way to bring positive social change. The Miami Dolphins organization believes it is important to be inclusive of the diversity and aware of the intersections that make up South Florida, uniting groups of different races, genders, sexual orientations, identities, abilities and faiths around the power of football.
These programs connect to the NFL's Inspire Change platform, showcasing the collaborative efforts of players, owners and the league to create positive change in communities across the country and work with RISE – the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality – to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.