Several executives and coaches from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns, and Cleveland Indians announced Thursday the formation of a sports alliance to develop strategies to address social injustice within the city of Cleveland and all Northeast Ohio communities.
Leaders of the alliance include Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Browns general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski, and Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti, GM Mike Chernoff, and manager Terry Francona.
Group members will utilize their respective team platforms to coordinate activities that invoke positive outcomes in the community and focus on improving relationships between law enforcement and citizens, according to the announcement. Players from each team will also have the opportunity to contribute.
"We have an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting impact on society and the Cavaliers are committed to help bring about change," Altman said in a statement. "The social and economic disparity in our community reveals some ugly truths, and Coach Bickerstaff and I are honored to be at the table to address these issues with such a prominent group of our peers.
"We never take for granted our place in the fabric of Cleveland and hopefully our coming together inspires others to join us."
Berry added: "We understand the platform our organization has to make a positive impact on these important issues. When Coach Stefanski and I began discussing how we might be able to elevate and broaden that impact by expanding the dialogue to our counterparts in Cleveland, it quickly became apparent that partnering with the other teams in our city would help our region come together so we can collectively address the problems that we've all been working to help solve independently."
The alliance is a response to myriad incidents of racial and social injustice in the U.S. Many professional athletes have voiced frustration after a police officer shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, multiple times in the back in Wisconsin this past weekend.
The Milwaukee Bucks decided not to play Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic in response to Sunday's shooting, which eventually led the NBA to postpone all of Wednesday's scheduled playoff games. MLB also postponed three Wednesday matchups after the Milwaukee Brewers opted not to play their scheduled contest against the Cincinnati Reds.