NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization, today announced that athletes from the NFL, WNBA and NBA are joining forces to launch the Everytown Athletic Council. The first action from the group will be to recognize the ‘Wear Orange’ campaign and 5th National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, June 7.
Wear Orange is dedicated to honoring the lives of Americans affected by gun violence. Americans will unite and demand an end to gun violence at more than 750 Wear Orange events taking place June 8 and 9.
The Everytown Athletic Council is comprised of a group of athletes who want to bring awareness to the issue and be part of the gun violence prevention movement. The Athletic Council will partner with Everytown on an ongoing basis to encourage people to join the gun violence prevention movement and support common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence across the country. The Council will add new members in the coming months.
Founding members of the Everytown Athletic Council include:
- Joakim Noah, 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and Co-founder of Noah’s Arc Foundation
- Devereaux Peters, two-time WNBA champion with the Minnesota Lynx
- Xavier Rhodes, 2018 All-Pro cornerback for the Minnesota Vikings
- Delanie Walker, three-time Pro Bowl tight end with the Tennessee Titans
- DeAndre Washington, 4th year running back with the Oakland Raiders
In addition, the Golden State Warriors will host 20 survivors of gun violence and volunteers with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, during Game 4 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Also, Steve Kerr, head coach of the back-to-back NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, will wear orange during his pregame press conference on Friday, June 7, ahead of Game 4 in support of the Wear Orange campaign.
At the same time, the WNBA Players Association (WNBPA) has distributed special edition Wear Orange tee shirts and orange shoelaces for players on all 12 teams that are playing over Wear Orange Weekend.
“I’m excited to be one of the founders of Everytown’s Athletic Council. The movement to end gun violence is really important to me and my family,” said Joakim Noah, the 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and Co-founder along with his mother of Noah’s Arc Foundation. “We started up Noah’s Arc to work with kids in Chicago who are affected by gun violence and to provide them with opportunities through sports and arts to make a positive impact on their communities. Through this Council, we will be able to build on this work and raise even more awareness that the current situation is not acceptable and that we each can play a role in ending gun violence.”
“I’m thrilled to be a part of starting up Everytown’s Athletic Council. Gun violence is an issue that impacts all Americans, and athletes can act as an important bridge, connecting voices who need to be heard with this larger movement that is demanding change,” said Devereaux Peters, two-time WNBA champion with the Minnesota Lynx.
“It is really important to me to be a part of this Council and the movement to end gun violence,” said Delanie Walker, three-time Pro Bowl tight end with the Tennessee Titans. “As a responsible gun owner, I want to help as many people as possible understand how to store guns safely and to protect our kids. As athletes, we have these platforms and can be leaders in that cultural change.”
“With the creation of the Everytown Athletic Council, the gun safety movement now includes a pioneering team of athletes whose strength and vision extends far beyond the playing field,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “I’m grateful to every member of the Council for lending their considerable talents to the fight for gun safety.
National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, June 7 is part of the Wear Orange campaign and is dedicated to honoring the lives of Americans affected by gun violence. Wear Orange elevates the voice of every American who demands an end to gun violence throughout Wear Orange Weekend, taking place June 8 and 9.
Hundreds of cultural influencers, brands, non-profit partner organizations, elected officials and a series of iconic landmarks will participate in the Wear Orange campaign. As part of Wear Orange Weekend, nearly 750 events will take place across the country on June 8 and 9, honoring gun violence survivors and victims.
Full details on Wear Orange 2019 are available here.