The NFL has stepped up to Eagles joined the cause on Friday. After announcing a partnership with Philadelphia Police Department to host a gun buyback event this Monday, and wearing orange at practice to raise awareness of gun violence, the team addressed the rash of shootings in and beyond Philadelphia by calling for change, with no player more outspoken than quarterback Jalen Hurts.in the wake of recent mass shootings across the United States, and the
"When I sit back and think about what happened in Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa -- whether it's a grocery store, a hospital, elementary school -- that's no place for fear," Hurts told reporters. "I can't even imagine my little cousins not coming home from school, my little sister not coming home from school, my dad not coming home from work. ... Everybody is impacted by it one way or another. Everyone sitting here may have kids, someone they love. (All action) matters, whether that be just spreading love, appreciating what you have, but ultimately getting this artillery off the streets and making true change."
"I think it's my duty (to speak on it)," Hurts continued. "It's the least that I can do. The least I can do is to try to bring awareness to it. It starts with every one of us and everybody has their own unique way that they can make change but ultimately what are you doing to try to make the right things to be done? It's gotta change. Something's gotta change."
As part of their shared commitment to change the culture of gun violence, not only around the U.S. but in the city of Philadelphia, Hurts and the Eagles are promoting a gun buyback event at Lincoln Financial Field. This Monday, officers from the Philadelphia Police Department will be on hand to collect unloaded guns in exchange for $100 gift cards funded by the Eagles and the Center for Violence Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Anyone is welcome to attend and trade in guns without an appointment, and the event will be closed to the media to keep participants anonymous.
Hurts and Eagles teammates also participated in a Playground Build at James Rhoads Elementary School in West Philly to promote positive community engagement, while their orange jerseys from Friday's practice will be auctioned off to benefit a pair of Philly-based organizations tackling gun violence, Frontline Dads and Mothers in Charge.
"We have opportunities to spread hope, love, encouragement, and uplift those around us," Hurts said. "I take that to heart. Being able to spend time with a kid means the world to me. Some kids get to a point where they lose hope. There's so much negativity out there they feel like that's the easy route to go but it doesn't have to be like that. It doesn't have to be like that."