(Washington, D.C.) – The NFL Players Association (NFLPA), which represents every NFL player, is teaming up with the Corporation for National and Community Service, to encourage Americans to answer the President and First Lady's call to service and make a difference in their communities.
"The players of the National Football League have a unique opportunity to serve as role models – both on and off the field – and I applaud them for answering the call to service through United We Serve," President Obama said."Their example proves that anyone, whether the toughest of athletes or the youngest of fans, has what it takes to make a difference in the life of their communities and their country."
The partnership kicks off today with the national release of a new television public service announcement emphasizing the NFLPA's support of the community service initiative. The PSA features more than 30 players from around the National Football League such as Drew Brees (New Orleans) and Brian Dawkins (Denver) and will be distributed to news outlets across the country on July 23, 2009.
Along with a call to action from President Obama, the PSA features behind-the-scenes footage of NFL players as they explain in their own words how they are all part of one team both at home and in the community. Through service, NFL players demonstrate that the numbers worn on their jerseys on Sundays only tell part of their stories. Each player encourages his neighbors and every American to participate in President Obama's call to service by exploring volunteer opportunities available at http://www.serve.gov.
"The Players of the National Football League have accepted the challenge made to all Americans by the President and the First Lady," said NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice F. Smith, speaking on behalf of all NFL Players. "It is our hope that people across the country will join us in making a difference in their communities."
"Service is a solution to some of the nation's biggest challenges, and in these tough times we need more Americans to answer the President's call," said Nicola Goren, acting CEO of the Corporation, which is leading the Administration's United We Serve initiative. "We salute the NFLPA and the players for supporting United We Serve and helping build a better future for all Americans."
United We Serve is starting with an initial 81 day burst of service, culminating in a day of service and remembrance on September 11, but it will grow into a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to promote service as a way of life for all Americans. This initiative, which aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by steering new volunteers their way, and encourage new volunteers to develop their own "do-it-yourself" projects, focuses on five key areas: education, health, energy and the environment, community renewal, and safety and security.
To make it easy for individuals to get involved, the Corporation for National and Community Service created Serve.gov, a Web site that allows visitors to type in their zip code to find local volunteer opportunities, recruit volunteers by posting their organization's projects, or get ideas for creating their own projects with friends, families, and neighbors.
"I often say that the beauty of serving others is that anyone can do it. You don't have to be president; you don't have to be a pro football player," President Obama said while honoring the Steelers in May. "All you need to do is to have a desire to make a difference, to give back to your community, and to contribute to your nation."
President Obama's full message about United We Serve and more information on the initiative can be found at http://www.serve.gov.