Inspire Change, the NFL‘s social justice initiative, recently revealed that the organization has greatly exceeded fundraising expectiations.
In December, it was announced that the league’s Inspire Change initiative had reached $180M toward the 10-year, $250M commitment in social justice. At the annual owner’s meetings, it was announced that Inspire Change has eclipsed $237M toward this commitment, bringing them almost 5 years ahead of schedule.
The increase includes additional league funding as well as widespread club and ownership efforts not yet tallied as of the December announcement and through the end of the 2021-’22 league year.
Inspire Change, which aims to move us toward a more equal and just tomorrow by reducing barriers to opportunity, is built on four pillars: education, economic advancement, police-community relations, and criminal justice reform. Most recently, four organizations—Year Up, Wall Street Bound, Free Minds Book Club, and Get Schooled—received grants. The money has gone to nonprofits and hundreds of grassroots organizations nationwide since 2017.
About Inspire Change
Working with the Players Coalition, a 501(c)(3), Inspire Change is the NFL’s charity. It is led by players and coaches within the league and allows for the organization to give back to local communities through financial means, hoping to reduce barriers to opportunity and strengthen their communities.
King, a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, unveiled pop music sensation Doja Cat and national football champion Rob Gronkowski as celebrity competitors in the brand new Candy Crush All Stars U.S. tournament launching today. The duo appears in the brand new campaign film available HERE which showcases their drive to claim the winning title alongside tournament host Khloé Kardashian.
Doja Cat, known for dominating the music charts, TikTok trends and red carpets, and Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, American football tight end and four-time champion, join the millions of players across the U.S. who will compete against one another for the first time ever in order to be crowned the ultimate Candy Crush All Star. The competition kicks off today and is open to any Candy Crush Saga player in the United States*.
“Everyone knows that if you say the words ‘national competition’ three times, Gronk magically appears,” said Gronkowski. “When I heard about the launch of America’s first Candy Crush All Stars tournament I knew I had to get in on the action. I’m already playing Candy Crush Saga on the road all the time, so when I’m not spiking footballs, I’m swiping candies. Now, I’m inviting everyone to show up and compete with me. Let’s crown the best Crusher there ever was, America. Let’s go!”
“I’m so excited to be taking part in America’s first Candy Crush All Stars tournament!” said Doja Cat. “Anyone can compete and come out on top. But the real question is … who will be able to beat me and be crowned America’s No.1 Crusher?! Join now!”
Rob Gronkowski and Doja Cat join tournament host Khloé Kardashian, who will showcase her competitive side and hype up players from across the country to do the same. Anyone who has passed Level 25 in the Candy Crush Saga app can join them in the action to compete across the nation with both casual Crushers and long-time fans alike.
How to Play
King is inviting players to put their skills to the test and crush the competition across the country in the hopes of being crowned the nation’s No.1 Crusher! The tournament kicked off September 23rd at 8am EST. It is free to play and can be accessed by all who have passed Level 25 in the Candy Crush Saga app. The Qualifier Rounds take place from September 23rd to October 7th, but if you don’t qualify, don’t get sour yet! Players will have a last chance to qualify in two Wild Card Rounds. Once qualified, only the strongest Crushers will progress throughout the Quarter Finals, Semi-Final and the digital Final in November, where Khloé Kardashian will help crown America’s first Candy Crush All Star and award them a year’s supply of gold bars.
Candy Crush Saga is available to download and play for free on iOS and Android. More information is available HERE.
The Super Bowl brings in almost 100 million viewers a year and Super Bowl parties have become many people’s favorite part of the special Sunday. Although Super Bowl parties will be less likely this year, a good drink is always necessary for the big game. 360 Magazine has put together a list of drink recipes for the Super Bowl that are both classic and delicious.
THE D’USSE NEW FASHIONED
2 parts D’USSE VSOP Cognac
¾ part simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
orange peel and brandied cherry to garnish
Method: Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir until cold. Strain into a rocks glass with a large-format ice cube. Twist orange peel over the cocktail to release the oils.
Created with a hop combination including centennial, simcoe and strata, Full Contact invites drinkers to a bittersweet initiation that few can resist. Cloaked in a semi-translucent haze, Full Contact features a unique fruit-forward flavor, connecting drinkers to a tangent of wistful memories through notes of tangerine, cream soda and fresh honeydew, along with floral and slightly resinous aromas.
Full Contact, which is rolling out nationwide in 6-pack cans and on draft, joins Contact Haze as a member of Elysian’s Contact family. Also joining the Contact family later this year is Altered Contact (6.8% ABV), a Tart IPA which offers a refreshing alternative to the usually generous hop-forward flavors of the style. A Trilogy Pack featuring all three beers in the Contact Family will be available in March 2021.
Oakley Special-edition Super Bowl LV Eyewear
The stage is set for the big game, and to help fans gear up for Super Bowl and the epic showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakley, the official eyewear of the NFL, has released special-edition Super Bowl LV eyewear for the game, along with team-specific eyewear for Chiefs and Bucs fans.
NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP and Champion. Face of a franchise. Future of his position. Dynasty-maker? Patrick Mahomes II has accomplished more in his first three years in the NFL than most would dare to dream to achieve in a career. To celebrate his accomplishments and support the Quarterback in this year’s game, check out his Signature Series Collection with Oakley.
Remember this historic moment and shop the NFL Super Bowl LV Portal X sunglasses, designed with Super Bowl LV logos and colors.
Caramelized Onion Crostini
Serves 10-12 people
1 wedge Parrano® Originale Cheese, shaved
24 slices French Bread Baguette, ¼ inch thick toasted
1 cup caramelized onions
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
This pairing can be modified based on flavor preferences and/or special dietary needs.
Amplify this party favorite by coupling the sweet flavor of caramelized onions with notes of nutty Parmesan and creamy gouda from shavings of Parrano® Originale Cheese. For an even more decadent pairing, add the rich flavor of Italian black truffles by substituting Parrano® Originale for Parrano® Truffle.
A Dutch Masterpiece®www.adutchmasterpiece.com, the award-winning cheese that is a work of art, has begun to unveil a fresh new brand redesign that includes new packaging and revamped website devoted to drawing cheese lovers to the amazing line-up. The redesigned packaging features readily identifiable and memorable Dutch painters and their recognizable work while providing informative tasting notes of the product to better educate people about the cheese line and its delicious taste and texture. The new packaging for both the wheel and wedge provides a more powerful image of the current product, which is designed to stand out in the cheese case. Whether it is for a Super Bowl party or an at-home special occasion, A Dutch Masterpiece offers the art of cheese entertaining.
Look for the new packaging of this award-winning collection, which will feature the full cheese profile front and center for the entire collection, which includes:
Rembrandt- Traditionally ripened for one year, this award-winning Extra Aged Gouda Cheese has a firm texture, a robust flavor, and an exceptional taste. World Championship Cheese Contest World Champion in 2004, World Cheese Awards 2016 Gold
Vincent – Where Gouda Meets Parmesan flavor, this rich, sweet-tasting fully ripened for six months Dutch Cheese releases pleasant characteristic bursts of flavor with every bite. World Cheese Awards 2013 Gold
Frans Hals – A rich aged Dutch goat cheese that is naturally matured up to six months. Frans Hals is made from 100 percent goat’s milk to create a unique full-bodied taste and delicate aroma. World Cheese Awards 2016 Super Gold
Vermeer – Traditionally ripened for five months, this award-winning aged Dutch Gouda cheese has a delicate, fruity taste with a delightful flavor. World Championship Cheese Contest World Champion in 2012, World Cheese Awards 2013 Gold
BODYARMOR, the fastest-growing sports drink in the country, launched its first-ever sports drink plus natural caffeine, BODYARMOR EDGE.
BODYARMOR EDGE combines the same functionality of BODYARMOR Sports Drink – including the same base hydration formula – with caffeine to give consumers an EDGE on the competition, no matter the game or goal.
Designed to deliver the latest in active hydration and sports nutrition, BODYARMOR EDGE provides over 1,000mg of hydrating electrolytes, plus 100mg of caffeine. This hydrating sports performance drink with caffeine is sure to keep you energized for all of Super Bowl Sunday.
Super Bowl LV Championship Gear
Lids sell all official championship gear for Super Bowl LV and this year is no different. Lids have designed a line of gear that highlights the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the Super Bowl LV winner. The collection even features a Tom Brady jersey that represents the legend’s new team and first Super Bowl win after leaving the New England Patriots. A list of all Lids brick & mortar locations selling championship product in-stores already can be found here and products are available online here.
A November 7 article on Sportscasting reports on NFL Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s generosity in using his clothing brand to give to communities in need. The article notes that Wilson’s clothing company, Good Man Brand, donates 3% of all purchases to the Why Not You Foundation, another one of Wilson’s charitable endeavors, to provide food and career guidance for those in need.
Los Angeles-based manufacturer Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says that brands big and small should be sure to take advantage of all marketing opportunities available to advertise their unique message and branding.
Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says that while the most obvious locations to include a brand’s ethics are on the company’s website, online product descriptions, and in-store marketing, clothing tags, and labels are just as important and are often overlooked for their benefits.
The Los Angeles manufacturer adds that by including a brand’s message on fabric tags and labels, it reminds customers of the causes they’re supporting each time they wear a product, which helps to encourage future purchases as well.
Without a message’s integration on clothing tags, Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says customers will only be reminded of the charitable connection if they actively visit a physical store or the company’s online shop. Even a big fan of a product is going to see clothing labels many more times than they are ever likely to see its website or advertising, says the manager.
For a brand’s message to remain visible over time, Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says it’s important for clothing tags and labels to be made from high-quality materials that will not wear or fade for a long time. The Los Angeles manufacturer notes that product tags can only be effective if they can remain fully intact even after numerous wash cycles. Brands that invest in durable fabric labels demonstrate their attention to detail to customers.
Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. says that telling customers of a brand’s ethics is crucial for brand loyalty. Whether it’s sustainability or supporting a local community, customers are more likely to purchase products from a company whose mission they support. The Southern California company adds that oftentimes, individuals are more than happy to donate to a good cause; they just don’t know where to start.
By ensuring that a clothing brand’s message is clearly advertised across all marketing opportunities, including clothing tags and labels, customers will always remember the company and causes they’re supporting and where they can return to for more.
Readers interested in learning more about Hi-Tech Printing & Labeling Inc. and its offerings can call (213) 746-7772 or visit its website at https://www.fabriclabels.com.
Today, VIZIO announced the finalists for the 12th Annual VIZIO Top Value Performer Trophy, an award given to the NFL player who’s on-field performance most-exceeds the value of their contract. This year’s program features 5 strong candidates who have all had incredible performances on the field this year. From an undrafted rookie running back who lives in his parents’ basement to a young defensive stalwart helping turnaround the defensive of one of the league’s most popular teams, each of these players provided a tremendous amount of value and not only contributed to their teams’ success in 2018, but showed that the future is bright for each of them and teams they play for.
Here is the full lists of nominees for this year’s award:
Tyler Boyd, Bengals
Chris Carson, Seahawks
Kenny Golladay, Lions
Phillip Lindsay, Broncos
Blake Martinez, Packers
The Top Value Performer is completely decided by fan votes, allowing fans to really rally behind their favorite candidate and vote as often as they’d like at VIZIO.com/TVP.Voting is open now, until Sunday, Jan 20 at 11:59 PM PT.
2017 – Alvin Kamara
2016 – Spencer Ware
2015 – Allen Robinson
2014 – Kenny Stills
2013 – Russell Wilson
2012 – Russell Wilson
2011 – Victor Cruz
2010 – Stevie Johnson
2009 – Steve Smith
2008 – Matt Cassel
2007 – David Garrard
MORE ABOUT THE 2018 FINALISTS
Tyler Boyd, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati #83
Now in his third season, Tyler Boyd has emerged as one of the focal points of this year’s passing attack in Cincinnati. After missing games last year due to injury, Boyd has bounced back in 2018 and is showcasing why he is one of the league’s top young wideouts. This season, Boyd was the most targeted receiver in Cincinnati and produced a career-high in receptions, yards and touchdowns. A second-round pick in the 2016 Draft and with a salary of $787,179, Boyd is a TVP candidate to keep on your radar.
Chris Carson, Running Back, Seattle #32
In his second season, Chris Carson has quickly developed into a star for Seattle. After playing in just four games as a rookie, Carson burst on to the scene this year and established himself among the league’s top running backs. With multiple games this season over 100 rushing yards, Carson has been an integral part of Seattle’s offense and ranks among league leaders in total rushing yards. As a seventh-round draft pick in 2017 with a base salary of $550,000, Carson is very strong candidate for this year’s TVP award.
Kenny Golladay, Wide Receiver, Detroit #19
In just his second season, Kenny Golladay has proven that he is one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the league. A major part of Detroit’s passing attack, Golladay posted impressive numbers and set career-highs in nearly every receiving category. With multiple games of at least 100 receiving yards, the gifted receiver is on track to record his first career 1,000-yard season. A third-round pick in the 2017 draft and with a base salary of $586,000, Golladay is a candidate to keep an eye on for this year’s TVP award.
Phillip Lindsay, Running Back, Denver #30
Born and raised in Denver, Phillip Lindsay is not just an amazing story playing for his hometown team, but one of the league’s most dangerous running backs in 2018. With incredible speed and quickness, Lindsay continues to lead Denver’s rushing attack as he is on pace to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in just his first season. An undrafted rookie, Lindsay is also a major threat in Denver’s passing attack. With a base salary of just $480,000, Lindsay is a definitely a TVP candidate worth consideration.
Blake Martinez, Linebacker, Green Bay #50
In his third season, Blake Martinez is already making his case as one of the best linebackers in the league. With a knack for being around the ball and making plays, Martinez continues to lead the much-improved Green Bay defense. With multiple games of having 10 or more tackles, Martinez has easily eclipsed 100 total tackles this year and is on pace to finish among the league leaders in that category. With a base salary of just $630,000, the 2016 fourth-round pick is a worthy candidate to capture this year’s TVP award.
When Bobby Sessions released the video for his major label debut single“Like Me”with Def Jam Records in April, viewers witnessed a visceral, charged statement. With a noose around his neck, the Dallas rapper drew parallels between lynchings and modern day police killings with a captivating intensity in his delivery and lyricism. By the end of the record Sessions defies the oppression that systemic injustice meant to induce in him.
Today, Bobby Sessions’s latest single “Pick A Side” premieres on The FADER and the artist’s mission continues to unfold. With “Pick A Side,” Sessions sets his sights on controversial black figures, equating the behavior of Candace Owens, Jason Whitlock, Ray Lewis, Omarosa and more, who are addressed in the track and music video, to house slaves informing on the subversive activity of slaves in the field. “The same way a person would sacrifice his or her relationship with the people on the field in order to get in good with the master, we have the same thing happening today where there are black people in positions of power and positions of influence that have opportunities to shed light on real situations affecting their own people,” Sessions says. “Instead, they dismiss them in the pursuit of getting the acceptance of white people in positions of power and it needs to be called out.”
The video showcases how a revolution happens. It starts small with pictures of the people Sessions believes need to pick a side while speaking to his people and as he’s delivering the information he’s posing to them, which side are you on?
In February, when it was announced that you signed with Def Jam you mentioned quitting your job in 2015 and dedicating yourself to becoming a great rapper and manifesting this current success. Can you explain that process a little more?
When you’re working a job, after you pay all your bills, you’re broke anyway. At least at my pay rate I was. I was spending all my money on music. I would go to work from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., I would sit in traffic in a car with no AC in record hot Texas summers from 5:30 to 6:30 maybe eat from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and I would would record from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Dojo every single day. That was my thing. By the time I got done paying for that and paying for my bills, I was broke anyway. I thought,I’m either gonna stay here and be a hamster in the wheel or I can be out there and go for my dreams. I’m in my early twenties making these decisions. I can go back and still get a job later if that’s really what I want to do but the real fear and real danger is not doing it because I was scared of me being 50 and 60 living with “what if?” It was super easy to leave and that’s the reason I mentioned quitting my job.
How did signing to Def Jam fit into the vision you had yourself and your career?
I always fantasized about how it would feel to sign with Def Jam and then I got signed by Eminem’s manager (Paul Rosenberg, now the CEO of Def Jam), and the way I always thought that that would feel… it didn’t feel any different than how much I peacocked my chest out when I walked out of my old job. When I signed my contract in New York it felt the same way when I imagined that I signed the contract. That’s the main message that I try to get out to people. The reality that I lived in is that I’m the greatest rapper that ever came from Dallas. I don’t think of any other reality other than that in regards to Dallas in particular. And since that’s true, then, of course, I’ll have the right energy to attract my deal going through to when I shot my first video. Of course I came out of that, because that was my mentality before that was a consensus with everybody else.
What are you trying to manifest through your music?
I want to make material that’s way bigger than me. I’ve been talking about race in particular on all my projects. Go back to Law of Attraction and my album cover is a gorilla that’s literally shredding its outer. The gorilla represented the negative image that white people have on black people. So you saw me as an animal but I’m shattering your view of me with this art and through the law of attraction. My broad mission is to empower all black people around the world. That’s my main mission.
I feel like there’s a lot of psychological damage, psychological trauma that we inherited that never got addressed and it’s still never been addressed. It’s been quiet, it’s taboo to even be talking about. It’s a bunch of things that need to be addressed globally. The effects of white supremacy all around the world and [I want to] do as much as I can to get us as a people to manifest and be our best self. My individual goal, I want to make sure that when we look back at the history of the greatest rappers ever, I want my name to be mentioned at the top of the list. As I’m getting older, I’m realizing that individual goal is subjective. The impact that I really have in the booth that’s what I want to be measured by.
Tell us about the new single, “Pick A Side.”
The song is talking about field and house niggas and how you have to pick a side. This is a different time and this is not a time where you can straddle the fence. Our generation’s done a good job of, “let’s try to see all sides of everything.” OK, after you evaluated … pick a side. Don’t be scared of what side you’re standing on.
Even thinking back to slave times, you had the field negroes outside picking the cotton, manning the land and then you had the house negro, who was inside the house, typically lighter skinned, and he had a bunch of temporary privileges over the black people in the field. When the master and the master’s family is done eating, you get the scraps at the end. You also notify me if there’s some people on the field doing something they’re not supposed to be doing you come tell it to me. We have the same thing happening today where there are black people in positions of power and positions of influence that have opportunities to shed light on real situations affecting their own people but instead they dismiss them in the pursuit of getting acceptance of white people in positions of power and it needs to be called out.
In the video that would be Candace Owens, Jason Whitlock, Ray Lewis, right?
There’s two people in particular I call out on the record: Jason Whitlock and Ray Lewis. [Lewis] is someone I really idolized as a football player, and, when I heard his comments on Colin Kaepernick, how he should only worry about football, I felt like he was trying to appease the white people at his network as opposed to shedding light on our community. So it’s not to say he is a house nigga, it’s to say that I need you to pick a side and don’t think that these white people love you for having these opinions. If the white people you work with truly care about humanity they will let you say that. You don’t have to throw your community under the bus in order to get cool with another community. If we’re all supposed to be one community it should make a white person sick to their stomach that black people are getting murdered for no reason if we’re really all one race.
“Pick A Side” was a bit of a hometown affair featuring production from Sikwitit and video direction from German Torres, two creatives you’ve worked with for a long time in Dallas. Why was it important to keep it close to home?
It’s important to take care of home first. We have some great content from both of those guys so we wanted to give them the first dibs on creating content for us now that we have this new platform. Sickwitit and I have done a lot of great records together and I think we’ve crafted a song together and I think I’m excited for everybody to experience it for the first time. This one is different because the style of these songs as compared to the other songs are very different. We’re definitely two different people than when we first started. The sound now is a lot more disruptive.
Series BringsUnprecedented Access to those Closest toNFL StarAaron Hernandez and Unravels his Shocking Double Life in Two-Night Special Event
Oxygen Media, the new destination for high-quality crime programming, premieres the new original docu-series “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered” with a two-night special eventon Saturday, March 17 at 7PM ET/PTand Sunday, March 18 at 7PM ET/PT.Aaron Hernandez was a sports phenom who was destined to be one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. He was adored by millions of fans, had a woman who loved him, and riches beyond his dreams until a series of events led him down a dark path to destruction. This two-part special goes beyond the headlines and takes a deep dive into Hernandez’s dual life through never-before-seen interviews, vivid eyewitness accounts, testimony never presented in trial, startling new medical revelations, and a secret that tormented him—a secret that some may have gone to extremes to keep. For a sneak peek, please visit:
Aaron Hernandez was a sports phenom who was destined to be one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. He was adored by millions of fans, had a woman who loved him, and riches beyond his dreams until a series of events led him down a dark path to destruction. This two-part special goes beyond the headlines and takes a deep dive into Hernandez’s dual life through never-before-seen interviews, vivid eyewitness accounts, testimony never presented in trial, startling new medical revelations, and a secret that tormented him—a secret that some may have gone to extremes to keep. For a sneak peek, please visit:http://www.oxygen.com/aaron-hernandez-uncovered/season-1/videos/aaron-hernandez-uncovered-premieres-on-march-17th-at-76c.
“Aaron Hernandez Uncovered”is the untold true story of NFL superstar Aaron Hernandez from the viewpoint of those who knew him best. With unprecedented access toShayanna Hernandez, Aaron’s fiancée and the mother of his only child, along with lead defense attorneyJose Baez, friends, former teammates, detectives, the prosecutor, the sheriff, and the journalists who covered his story extensively, this gripping two-part cautionary tale strips away the layers to answer the many questions left behind after Hernandez’s tragic death.
“Aaron Hernandez Uncovered” Part I: Saturday, March 17 at 7PM ET/PT
A detailed look into the world of Aaron Hernandez, a multi-million dollar football player with a beautiful wife and new baby…and a murder conviction. Why would he risk it all? The Massachusetts State Police paint a very dark image of Aaron Hernandez through definitive interviews detailing their strong murder case against him for the murder of Odin Lloyd, as well as damning surveillance footage from Aaron’s home that sealed his fate. New information and never-before-seen interviews uncover the duality of Aaron’s life, including a secret he held onto until death, and a murky background that led to a life of crime.
“Aaron Hernandez Uncovered” Part II: Sunday, March 18 at 7PM ET/PT
Aaron’s fiancée and friends discuss their struggles with accepting Aaron’s new reality in prison. We then follow Aaron Hernandez’s second murder trial, this time for a double homicide. Through courtroom footage and interviews with journalists who covered the trial extensively, we watch as one of the country’s best defense lawyers, Jose Baez, successfully gets Aaron acquitted of all charges. Just when things are looking hopeful for Aaron, his darkest secret is revealed and his shocking suicide leaves us to wonder why.
“Aaron Hernandez Uncovered” is produced by Renegade 83 an Entertainment One Company, with David Garfinkle, Jay Renfroe, Bob Kusbit, and Vince DiPersio serving as Executive Producers. Jose Baez is a Consulting Producer.
About Oxygen Media:
Oxygen Media is a multiplatform crime destination brand for women. Having announced the full-time shift to crime programming in 2017, Oxygen has become the fastest growing cable entertainment network with popular unscripted original programming that includes the flagship “Snapped” franchise, “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway,” “The Jury Speaks,” “Cold Justice,” “Three Days to Live,” and “It Takes a Killer.” Available in more than 77 million homes, Oxygen is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Watch Oxygen anywhere: on demand, online, or across mobile and connected TVs.
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