The Eagles are quietly becoming heroes in Philadelphia, where Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts overcame a 2-5 start to secure a playoff berth in their first season together. But they're not just making waves on the football field. Ahead of Week 18's rematch with the Cowboys, and a future wild-card matchup in the NFC postseason picture, the Eagles announced the creation of End Philly Gun Violence, a multifaceted campaign that funds 32 different area nonprofits to make their city safer.
2021 saw the City of Philadelphia endure 562 homicides -- a 13 percent increase from 2020 and the city's highest annual total in more than 60 years. The majority of the killings stem from gun violence. In response, the Eagles' Social Justice Fund -- in partnership with The Philadelphia Foundation -- has awarded $316,000 in grants to Philly-area organizations dedicated to either primarily or tangentially addressing the issue.
"Gun violence is big around the world," defensive lineman Javon Hargrave said this week, "and definitely big in Philadelphia, so we feel strongly about it. (We want) kids just to be able to go outside and play without even having to worry about shootings and things like that."
The Eagles' Social Justice Leadership Council, including running backs Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard, tight end Dallas Goedert, pass rusher Brandon Graham, cornerback Avonte Maddox and safeties Anthony Harris and Rodney McLeod, was tasked with identifying grant recipients for the campaign. Among those funded through the initiative: Education Law Center ($15,000), ManUpPHL ($15,000), Police Athletic League of Philadelphia ($10,000) and United Way of Delaware ($10,000).
"Between players and the organization, we wanna use our platform in a positive way," Harris told reporters this week. "It's about saving lives, coming together and everyone doing what they can to make change."
In addition to the grants, the Eagles partnered with the City of Philadelphia to create EndPhillyGunViolence.com, which aggregates resources and organizations committed to improving the lives of area youth.