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The police asked a football player to apologize. His response? NAILED IT.

"A call for justice shouldn't warrant an apology."

The police asked a football player to apologize. His response? NAILED IT.

Andrew Hawkins is a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns (for anyone who has as little knowledge of sportsball as I do, that's a football team). Recently, Hawkins chose to draw attention to the unjust killing of black men in Ohio by the police. He walked out on the field before a game wearing a shirt that said, "Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford."


In response to Hawkins' t-shirt, the Cleveland Police Union demanded an apology, writing, "It's pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium, and the Browns organization owes us an apology."

In a pretty surprising move, however, the Browns responded with a statement of their own: "We have great respect for the Cleveland Police Department and the work that they do to protect and serve our city. We also respect our players' rights to project their support and bring awareness to issues that are important to them if done so in a responsible manner." Hawkins himself also gave a statement to the press about the incident — he's quoted in the graphic above, or you can watch his whole statement in the video below.

One part of the video worth noting is at 3:07, when Hawkins says "I'm not an activist in any way, shape, or form." At first I was kind of taken aback by that — he says it like "activist" is a dirty word. But he goes on to explain that as someone who lives in the public eye, he's always aware of the impact his opinions will have on his reputation. Because of that, he works very hard to keep his opinions to himself "99 times out of 100." This issue, however, was one that he felt was too important to keep to himself.

FACT CHECK TIME!

  • Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old black male shot in November 2014 in a park in Cleveland, Ohio. He was carrying a toy gun. He died the next day.
  • John Crawford was a 22-year-old black male who was shot to death while holding a toy gun in a Walmart in Ohio.
  • Quotes in this post were pulled from an article on ESPN as well as the embedded video.
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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.