Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pledged $13 million over the next four years to combating systemic racism through his nonprofit RISE foundation.
"Growing up in Detroit, I saw firsthand what racism did to tear apart our community, destroy lives and further inequality," Ross said in a statement Friday. "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."
Ross launched RISE in 2015 and serves as co-chairman of the foundation along with former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The board of directors includes the current commissioners of the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS and leaders from the NCAA and the PGA.
Ross, who was criticized for hosting an August 2019 fundraiser for President Donald Trump, drew praise from NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent for Friday's commitment.
"During this time of national unrest, many individuals have stepped up to being part of the solution. Stephen continues to dedicate his time, resources and vision, as he has for decades, in an unwavering commitment to ending racism in partnership with the leadership, heart and influence of athletes globally," Vincent said, per ESPN. "Stephen's words are backed by his actions demonstrated by his body of work to advance equality, respect and understanding as a leader in the national dialogue on race and social justice."
--Field Level Media