Falcons support NFL’s $1 million donation to the MLK Memorial

110721 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, from left, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have a conversation in the hallway outside the NFL Owners meetings at the Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott in Atlanta on Thursday, July 21, 2011.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110721 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, from left, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have a conversation in the hallway outside the NFL Owners meetings at the Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott in Atlanta on Thursday, July 21, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

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

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19 comments Add your comment

LJ

August 31st, 2011
3:17 pm

I’m afraid to read the comments to come…

Atl fan

August 31st, 2011
3:22 pm

Great move NFL

torgo

August 31st, 2011
3:24 pm

I’m happy that the NFL is supporting the Memorial.

But frankly, the statue was botched pretty badly. It’s awful.

Don't feed Aints trolls (It isn't 2009 anymore)

August 31st, 2011
4:26 pm

DLED is it true we got Hayden??? Please be true, please be true, please be true!

mountain_jim

August 31st, 2011
4:41 pm

Waiting on the ‘we got Hayden’ blog also.

At which point, BVG has no more excuses!

Astro Joe

August 31st, 2011
4:45 pm

Didn’t Hayden have a bad neck injury last season?

mountain_jim

August 31st, 2011
4:48 pm

Yes Astro Joe – that’s why he has remaining unsigned this long, I expect. So there is a risk.

Astro Joe

August 31st, 2011
4:58 pm

Well, signing DBs from the Pats & Colts certainly isn’t a bad thing at this point in the summer. Both guys have played in their fair share of pressure-packed games over the past 2-5 years. Maybe they can bring a solid mix of production and leadership to the secondary. It would be good if Dunta “Edge Hartwell” Robinson finds his way back on the field at some point also.

chc4

August 31st, 2011
5:29 pm

It’s true…

The Atlanta Falcons are continuing to add veteran depth to their secondary.

Kelvin Hayden, a free agent cornerback who has played his entire six-year career with the Colts, has agreed to terms with the Falcons, Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports.

When healthy, the 28-year-old Hayden has been a starter for the last four years in Indianapolis. But injuries have caused him to miss 12 games in the last three seasons.

The acquisition of Hayden comes a day after the Falcons signed veteran safety James Sanders.

Runner-

August 31st, 2011
5:31 pm

Love Arthur Blank. Keep it coming Mr. Blank, Atlanta loves you

SeenThisB4

August 31st, 2011
5:38 pm

K. Hayden! Another gimpy defensive back. Can you say “washout”? Drew B r e e s is going to have career high stats against this crippled defense.

Sid

August 31st, 2011
7:00 pm

Just $1 million…………..really, that’s all……………..?

Larry

August 31st, 2011
7:04 pm

LJ,

I am both proud and grateful for the NFL and Atlanta Falcons contribution for the MLK Memorial, and I’m both white and a straight ticket republican.

Stop being so negative!

Larry

Ron Paul 2012

August 31st, 2011
8:41 pm

Oh yea, RON PAUL!!!

Atl fan

August 31st, 2011
8:43 pm

Just checked the MLK Memorial Web Site of donors. The NBA gave 3 million. Can’t find MLB’s gift.

SeenThisB4

August 31st, 2011
9:52 pm

Hmmm, I doubt that MLK would have approved spending $120 million on a memorial, that’s not what he was about.

davidinloganville

August 31st, 2011
10:02 pm

well that covers the cost of getting permission from the King family.

Dr. Warren

September 1st, 2011
3:51 am

DLed: Why were Blank and the Falcons singled out in the announcement? Was it because they represent MLK’s hometown, or is it because they donated a higher percentage of the money?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 1st, 2011
10:08 pm

Dr. Warren — I think each city was probably shouted out and I got the ATL shout out?