The Ravens and owner Steve Bisciotti’s foundation have committed to donate $1 million to support social justice reform in Baltimore in the wake of “acts of racism that continue to overwhelm our society,” Bisciotti said in a statement Monday night.
A committee of current and former Ravens players will decide which local programs will benefit from the contribution, provided by the team and the Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation. The players were not identified.
The Ravens released the statement just as President Donald Trump, in a White House news conference, said he was committed to upholding law and order in the face of growing racial unrest and seeking justice for George Floyd. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck as he was being arrested in Minneapolis last week.
“There is nothing I can say to ease the pain felt by African-American communities across our country," Bisciotti said in the statement, the first public comment from a team official on the ongoing nationwide protests. “No words will repair the damage that has been done.
“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.
“Now, more than ever, we must all strengthen our pursuit of positive change, as we stand with peaceful protestors around the country. 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. We believe in their commitment to furthering social justice and invoking meaningful change. We stand side by side with them, in full support. It is for this reason that I have asked a group of former and current Ravens players to decide which organizations should receive proceeds from the $1 million donation we are making today.”
The Ravens and Bisciotti’s foundation have combined to donate over $2 million in recent months to support local coronavirus relief efforts.