Athletes across different sports are using their platforms and resources to support historically Black colleges and universities, and the latest star to do so is NFL player Jalen Hurts. According to CBS Sports, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback has joined forces with the National Football League Players Association and FedEx for an initiative launched to support HBCUs throughout the NFL season.
As part of the effort, $2,000 need-based scholarships will be awarded on a weekly basis to scholars at HBCUs. The NFLPA and FedEx will work in concert to determine the recipients. Aware of the financial obstacles that disproportionately impact students at historically Black colleges and universities, Hurts says the initiative will be instrumental in leveling the playing field. “I’m really excited to team up with them about this launch,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “They have a lot of great things going on and the HBCU community really stood out to me because I’m big on service. I have a program going on that makes a donation toward the quarterbacks and running backs that win the award at the collegiate level that goes toward the HBCUs. That money goes toward the scholarships as well.”
Efforts like the one being led by Hurts, FedEx and the National Football League Players Association are needed as studies show students who attend historically Black colleges and universities borrow loans at higher rates than those who attend non-HBCUs and graduate with more debt.
News about Hurts’ effort comes months after the NBA vowed to donate $3 million to support historically Black collegiate institutions and COVID-19 relief efforts through its All-Star Game festivities. The pledge was part of the league’s larger commitment to donate $300 million over the span of a decade to initiatives centered on Black empowerment.