You can say that the Chicago Bears have been giving all season, to the point of handing over a few games they shouldn’t have, but in the big picture taking football games comes up short against honest community engagement.
As its seen in this video (ed. note – no longer available on YouTube) put together for Urban Broadcast Media by our man Montezz Allen, should-be Pro Bowler Akiem Hicks has taken the lead in giving back this holiday season by taking 30 Chicago kids to a local Target for a Christmas shopping spree and other fun. Hicks has been a positive figure on and off the field for the Bears so it makes sense he’s extending his good vibes outside the locker room.
Make sure to follow Montezz on YouTube and elsewhere online for more of his coverage with UBM. (update: Montezz is now sports director at the NBC affiliate in Macon, GA. Follow him on Twitter.)
Elsewhere, the Bears aren’t letting up their outreach and more friends of WARR, The Bigs, were there to catch it as Terrence Tomlin reports from Leo High School on the South Side, where members of the Bears treated community members to a big Christmas dinner.
It’s definitely heartwarming to see important franchise figures like President George McCaskey and players Kyle Fuller and Jordan Howard engaging with the members of an area like Auburn-Gresham, which so often gets a bad rep due to reports of violence and other problems. Regardless of what we see on the field for the remainder of this season and going forward, if the Bears keep up this kind of work outside Halas Hall than we can’t be too critical of how they spend their non-playing time.
Just don’t lose to the Browns though.
Chicago Sports Alliance A Good Start
On a grander level, the Bears along with the other four major team sport franchises in town announced the Chicago Sports Alliance initiative this week with an aim to provide finances and solutions to help decrease violence in this city.
We’re sort of trained as a public to seek the seams in any positive initiative in order to rip at them and upon this announcement those actions came right on time, with some constructive criticism…
…and some other stuff…
Very few of those who frequent Twitter can offer insightful commentary on the issues that Chicago communities face, especially as they intersect with other lanes like sports. The Chi’s franchises will get enough pats on their collective backs for this announcement, but that doesn’t mean they deserve unnecessary criticism, especially criticism that also impugns the people these franchises are trying to help.
Indeed, it would be nice to have heard them all announce a $1 million dollar donation as opposed to a shared $1 million, but $1 million is better than nothing.
The Bears, Bulls, et. al aren’t obligated, not in any legal or otherwise binding way, to provide anything to the communities they feed off of for support and revenue, yet each franchise has a history of community minded programs and initiatives they’ve been a part of. This latest announcement simply is the start of a collective movement they’ve got into that should not only make future social endeavors look and feel more substantial by these organizations, but also stand to provide much needed awareness to grassroots and non-profits that they stand to help with these finances, beginning with the three highlighted in the video above.
So along with complaining that the initial bill wasn’t high enough, how about taking a closer look yourself into the violence prevention programs offered by these groups and see just how you can help them or help another program dedicated to making Chicago a better and safer place.
Follow We Are Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under We Are Regal Radio; Follow Kyle Means on Twitter @Wrk_Wrt