The Falcons, along with other members of the NFL and NFL Charities, made a $1 million gift to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation on Wednesday.
The gift will support the memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. honoring Dr. King, which will be officially dedicated this fall.
“We are extremely humbled by the million dollar gift from the NFL, including Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur M. Blank,” said Harry E. Johnson, Sr., president and CEO of the Memorial Foundation in a statement. “This NFL gift moves us one step closer to our $120 million fundraising goal. The NFL has been a close ally of our Project in Washington, DC as well as a strong supporter for more than two decades of the national holiday in Dr. King’s honor on the third Monday each January. We are proud the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons have joined with us to create the first memorial on the National Mall celebrating a man of hope, a man of peace, and a man of color.”
The NFL believes that it has followed and thrive while implement some of Dr. King’s key ideas.
“We are pleased to join our fellow Americans in saluting Dr. King, his legacy and his vision of America,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “The Memorial is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary man who dedicated his life to ensure freedom, equality and opportunity for all. We in the NFL believe that professional football is the ultimate meritocracy. NFL players are measured strictly by their performance on the field regardless of race, religion or economic background.”
This gift pushes the Foundation closer to raising the $120 million needed to build the memorial. The NFL joins the following major donors to the memorial: General Motors, The Walt Disney Company Foundation, The Ford Motor Fund, Verizon Foundation, DirecTV, FedEx Corporation, PepsiCo Foundation, and CBS Corporation, among others.
A Memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be dedicated this fall, celebrating the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s ”I Have a Dream” speech.
The Memorial is on the National Mall, situated adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog