Earlier this month, Andrew Berry sent an e-mail to the Cleveland Browns staff, encouraging his co-workers to join the fight against social and racial injustice.
As detailed by ClevelandBrowns.com, Berry's e-mail included his thoughts on George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, the recent tragedies involving Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and the general state of race relations in the United States. The Browns general manager closed his e-mail with a challenge to his co-workers that stated he would donate $8,460 in honor of George Floyd and other recent victims to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund if at least 50 employees did one of the following:
- Spend at least 8 minutes and 46 seconds (in honor of Floyd) on one of a number of educational or dialogue items provided in the email and submit a short written or video reflection on what they learned or will do moving forward
- Sign up for any social activism initiative
- Donate anything to a social activism cause
It took less than a day for 50 Browns employees to complete the challenge, with the Haslam Family opting to match every donation. As of Monday, the team has raised $185,522.74 for 14 different charities.
Given the success of Berry's campaign, the Browns are now encouraging those outside the organization, including fans, team alumni and media, to join in and take part in the challenge. Those who participate are asked to act on one of Berry's three challenges and post a video on social media reflecting on it and detailing what he or she plans to do next.
"We are a family. We're in this for one reason," Berry said. "We realize what's right, and there are some things that are more important than football. I think too many times organizations can be tone deaf to those dynamics. This is one of those moments where our focus can't be only or solely what goes on between those white lines. There are just bigger societal issues at play.
"NFL teams, in general, have such an influence on their communities that if we can't be at the front of the pack on some of these issues that impact all of us, then shame on us."
More information and directions regarding the Be The Solution challenge can be found at ClevelandBrowns.com or in the video player below.