Although no football is being played, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been busy. In recent weeks, he’s stepped up to recent weeks to use his platform and his dollars to support the Atlanta community in which he has called home for over a decade.
On Wednesday evening, Ryan appeared on The Daily Show with host Trevor Noah to discuss how he’s using his platform to learn and fight against racism in our country. Ryan was asked to describe what he’s been experiencing lately as someone who calls Atlanta home.
“Well, it’s been difficult. To see everything going on in our city and in our state. Your heart goes out to their families and their loved ones, because it’s just deaths that shouldn’t have happened,” Ryan said. “That’s been part of me wanting to speak out and help out in ways that I can.”
Some players, such as New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees has recently been the subject of backlash for statements he made in regards to how his teammates may protest during the 2020 regular season. Noah asked Ryan why he thought it was important to speak out in the way that he has.
“Well No. 1, this was something that my friends and my teammates were saying. As I was listening, some of the comments that were made were ‘we appreciate you guys having our back and telling us that your support us, but I think it would help more if you did it publicly and you were able to go out and use the platform that you have to encourage change’ – and that was one of the parts just as a friend and listening to my friends and my teammates, that just seemed like the next step that needed to happen,” Ryan said. “What we had been doing up to this point hadn’t really worked, so if you continue to try and do the same things, we’ve done up to this point you’re going to continue to get the same results. So, for whatever reason the timing, I felt like I had to do it because I regretted not doing that up until this point. I regretted just kinda staying on the sidelines and not helping out in the ways that I could. So, it really stemmed from conversations that I’ve had with my friends on what I can do to make a difference.”
Over a week ago, Ryan started a GoFundMe for the Black community in Atlanta with $500,000 of his own money and a goal of $2 million overall. He has also shared statements via his various social media accounts displaying his thoughts on the current status of the world we live in currently. Noah asked why Ryan has decided to talk with community leaders to best figure out where the donation money should go.
“I chose this path because No. 1, I knew I wanted to do something. But No. 2 I knew that I didn’t know how to do it, or how to help. Typically, what I’ve found throughout my life is when it’s an area that I don’t know the most about, I think it’s important to find people that do and find people that you trust, and have them guide you in the direction you need to go,” Ryan said. “That’s what I’m currently in the process of doing. I’ve had great conversations with probably about eight different people from the Atlanta community who are heavily involved at the grassroots level. In terms of community organizers and people that do this every day, that have been trying to make a change for a long time and are much more knowledgeable about the hurdles we have to jump but also the things that we can do that are going to make an impact immediately, and then long-term too.”
I recommend you watch the full interview, just to hear what Ryan has to say for yourself. It’s great to see Ryan come out for his friends and teammates even though it could’ve been easy for him just to sit back, put out a tweet and call it a day.
If you’re interested in donating to Matt Ryan’s GoFundMe, you can by clicking here.