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Huddle Up America Listen

Huddle Up America Listen

06/09/2020
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It is a history-changing moment in time for America. There are many voices, opinions and reactions that churn every day with a new take, a new twist, a new narrative. 

The Pro Football Hall of Fame launched a platform in 2017 –#HuddleUpAmerica – to provide a forum for diverse and unfiltered opinions during tumultuous times, using the lessons from the football “Huddle.” The huddle is a safe and sacred sanctuary amid a chaotic and sometime hostile world where we can all come together, look each other in the eye and get on the same page. It is a place of quiet and solitude amid a roaring crowd where we can listen to and communicate with each other, trust each other, respect each other. When we “break” the huddle, we come together as one heartbeat committed to attacking a common adversary and formidable foe. If we falter, we huddle up again, and if we succeed, we celebrate together. 

#HuddleUpAmerica is a proven program that allows diverse members of the community to respect each other, listen and talk through their challenges and concerns TOGETHER. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has used its powerful public platform to gather police chiefs, community leaders, social activists and young adult African Americans to open communication on each group’s fears and concerns. The Hall has conducted 30 national town halls with Hall of Famers interacting directly with young adults from all backgrounds on their issues of suicide, bullying, lack of self-respect and dysfunctional family structure with its Strong Youth Strong Communities program in partnership with Centene Corporation.  

Rather than divide, we choose to unite, to listen, to hear and to understand, so we can respect diverse opinions to inspire much-needed hope during this unsettling and too-often violent time in America. We have faith that when we “break” our huddle, we will all have learned something we didn’t know or think ofpreviously – something that will open our hearts and minds  on the road to recovery to achieve what  we all want for ourselves, our children, our community and our country.

Our Hall of Famers, the Gold Jackets, have led the way and are leading the way again. Starting today and throughout the week, we will highlight their voices that addressed the current national crisis on racism, the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests and debate that is a rewind of a half-century ago after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

First, Aeneas Williams, pastor and founder of the Spirit Church in St Louis, who was interviewed on “Good Morning Football” by Nate Burleson and Kate Adams last Friday. Starting today and all week, each segment from that 14-minute interview will be posted on all HOF Social media channels:

In addition, what other Hall of Famers are saying in the moment: 

Tony Dungy on Colin Kaepernick: https://apple.news/A9ZDEzCB2S5mb4-6vXKSCRw

Tony Dungy on how to look inward: https://apple.news/ATV8JpI4jQYawYkJcBhqRQw

Warren Moon on people being fed up: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/john-mcclain/article/Warren-Moon-People-have-had-enough-in-wake-15319837.php

The Hall also will post portions of the nationally televised Enshrinement speeches of five Gold Jackets who address the issue of Black Lives Matter, starting with Kenny Easley (Black Lives Do Matter) followed by Champ Bailey (The things that make us great on the field size and aggression can get his killed), LaDainian Tomlinson (I’m of mixed race; my story is America’s Story), Ray Lewis (We need people who are willing to stand up and take action) and ending with Tony Dungy’s reminder of the history of African American coaches starting with Fritz Pollard.

What is interesting is that from their platform as Hall of Famers, the nationally televised audience and those 23,000 who were attending at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium listened attentively. The country became part of the huddle.

This is our Mission. To Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote Its Values and Celebrate Excellence Everywhere. The Hall will provide its platform again next week with a Facebook Live Special Edition of #HuddleUpAmerica to solicit a wide variety of opinions for those participating to continue the conversation in an open and respected place: the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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