CHICAGO – Different sports, different seasons, and different fan bases sometimes make it difficult for Chicago’s five major sports franchises to work together on many joint ventures.
But this holiday season, the spirit has hit the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox in an effort to curb one of Chicago’s biggest problems.
On Wednesday, all five teams announced a partnership called the Chicago Sports Alliance that is aimed at combating the violence in Chicago that’s dominated the headlines during the past few years.
As part of this alliance, the teams will donate a total of $1 million to three organizations aimed at curbing violence this year and will continue this financial support for years to come.
The three organizations which will receive the donations this year are Choose 2 Change in Englewood, analyst training by the Crime Lab for the Chicago Police Department’s Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSCs), and the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
Each team put this video on their Twitter account to announce the new alliance.
The Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, Bears and White Sox have created the Chicago Sports Alliance in order to reduce violence in our city by partnering with the University of Chicago Crime Lab. For more info, please visit https://t.co/XUDZaCxROF. pic.twitter.com/wanPbKHre8
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 20, 2017
A member of the team’s front office also released statements through news release.
“We are all deeply saddened every day when we read a new headline about shootings and violence in Chicago,” said White Sox and Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “Chicago is our home. This is the greatest city in the world. Collectively, we need to work together to preserve it, and now is the time for us to double our efforts. While we understand that as sports teams we don’t have all of the answers to solving such complicated issues, we do appreciate the incredible position of leadership that we are fortunate to hold. We have a responsibility to give back to our city and to all of our fans who have given us their hearts and cheers. These teams have brought championships to Chicago, but the great people of this city deserve a champion – or an alliance of champions – to stand together against this unacceptable level of community violence.”
“This partnership is not about the teams, it is about the power of coming together as Chicagoans to do all we can to try to make a difference,” said Bears Chairman George McCaskey. “The credit for this should go to Jerry Reinsdorf, as it was his idea. We are all doing things already with our own teams but it was his vision to bring everyone together to collectively have a greater impact. The monetary factor is important of course but we are also hoping because so many of our great fans and so many young people look up to our players that we can have an impact that way. If we can get through to them in some way, we can send a positive message about making our city better.”
“While our teams wear different uniforms and have different names, this city is something we all share,” said Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz. “Chicago comes first in all of our names, and we share an unconditional commitment to build strong communities around us and do what we can to help identify solutions to one of the city’s toughest and most complicated problems.”
“In many neighborhoods, crime and gun violence are major problems,” said Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “We look forward to working with other Chicago sports teams to invest in proven programs that help to address these issues and, hopefully, make our communities safer.”