CHICAGO (CBS)  — The Chicago Bears will donate a half million dollars to fund social justice programs for the city’s most vulnerable youth, the team announced Tuesday.

The team is the first in the NFL to raise the money for the league’s new social justice initiative. The players pitched in $250,000 and the team ownership matched that amount.

The money will go to programs that focus on criminal justice reform, improve relationships between police and the community, and provide education and support for young people who face poverty and gang violence in their neighborhoods.

Recipients of the money will be determined at a later date.


Quarterback Mitch Trubisky said the players will not only provide the money, but also get involved in the communities to inspire young people.

“We just want to direct this is a positive way to direct change,” Trubisky said.  “We are trying to create positive change in our community.

‘This is the right thing to do given our platform.”

In March, the National Football League announced that each club would match player contributions up to $250,000 annually, for the purposes of establishing a fund to support community improvement, social justice and law enforcement relationships.

A committee of players and team management is working with the University of Chicago Crime Lab, which has provided data about areas that need the most assistance.