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Stephen Ross pledges $13 million to help end racism through sports

RISE (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality) has announced a four-year, $13 million commitment from founder and board co-chair Stephen M. Ross in support of its mission to empower the sports community “to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice, and improve race relations.”

A coalition that includes the commissioners of and top executives from every major U.S. professional sports enterprise, major sports media networks, and national intercollegiate sports associations, RISE works to combat racism in sports and effect lasting change resulting in a more inclusive and equitable society. Over the next four years, RISE will use the funds to expand its work with organizations such as NASCAR, the National Lacrosse League, the PGA of America, the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, the United States Tennis Association, and USA Track & Field and enhance its Champions of Change campaign, a multi-sensory experience that educates fans about the impact of sports on civil rights, shares athletes’ stories and perspectives on race, and inspires fans to take action for racial equity.

Ross, the majority owner, board chair, and managing general partner of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, has committed $30 million in support of the coalition since its launch in 2015.

“Growing up in Detroit, I saw firsthand what racism did to tear apart our community, destroy lives, and further inequality,” said Ross. “I started RISE based on the belief that our nation must address the scourge of racism directly to achieve true unity. Now more than ever, our mission and the need for this work is clear.”

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