Bills players will participate in five community outreach events throughout the city of Buffalo and Orchard Park on Tuesday to engage in programs benefitting local students and youth athletes, the team said Monday.
Lorenzo Alexander, one of the team's leaders, said the day will be dedicated to players raising awareness about issues in the community.
"Playing in the NFL has afforded players a platform to raise awareness for many issues in our communities from breast cancer to the health and wellness of children to domestic violence," Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander wrote in a tweet.
"Over the past year and a half, our team has utilized the national anthem as an opportunity to protest to bring attention about the racial and social inequalities plaguing our country. These protests have not been about our military nor our allegiance and appreciation for our country's principles and privileges, but to start a conversation to begin the process of understanding, equality and love. We understand the issues we are concerned about will take a holistic approach to solve.
“As a team, we have decided to engage our community in two ways. First, on Tuesday, October 17, we plan to go out into the community as an organization and serve Buffalo’s young people through five different community relations events. Our hope is that this is not just a feel-good moment, but from these events, relationships are birthed and are continued into the future and become sustainable for the men who come behind us. Secondly, we plan to meet with local public and political officials about how as players, we can help change and improve legislation and institutional culture.”
Players will appear at:
• The Belle Center to participate in after-school activities, including a middle school girls mentoring program.
• Northwest Buffalo Community Center to join children in a variety of recreational activities.
• Matt Urban Hope Center to visit with a group of boys who play basketball to stay off of the streets.
• Hennepin Community Center to speak with teams in the Buffalo Police Athletic League female basketball league.
• The Bills will host a Family Fun Night for children with pediatric cancer and their immediate families as part of the NFL's Crucial Catch expanded cancer awareness outreach program.