Culver City Observer -

RAMS CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH BY SHARING STORIES OF TEAM PERSONNEL THROUGH THE WORK OF LOCAL BLACK ARTISTS

 

February 4, 2021



Fans Can Visit TheRams.com/blackhistorymonth to View the Artwork and Learn More

To celebrate Black History Month this year, the Los Angeles Rams are partnering with four local Black artists to tell powerful stories about people in the Rams organization who exemplify leadership, commitment, and a strong sense of community. Fans can learn about each story and view the artwork by visiting http://www.therams.com/blackhistorymonth.

On Monday, February 1, the team is kicking off the Black History Month celebration with a short film about Linebacker MICAH KISER, who played collegiately at the University of Virginia and rallied his entire team to organize a display of unity in Charlottesville two days after protesting escalated into a tragic event near the school's campus in 2017. Kiser invited UVA players, coaches, students, and residents to link arms in a show of solidarity for inclusiveness and diversity. The short film was produced by Mike Wilds, a videographer with Basic Films LA.

Through the work of LA native and photographer Nikki Boutte, the team will celebrate its Inglewood community, which is home to SoFi Stadium, with a photo collage launched on Friday, February 12 that will highlight a black-owned soul food restaurant and Certified #RamsHouse business The Serving Spoon. Last year, Rams Tackle ANDREW WHITWORTH and his wife, Melissa, donated $50,000 to The Serving Spoon after owner Angela Johnson posted an emotional video asking her community to donate to keep the restaurant from shuttering due to economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The photo collage will also highlight the Rams' Director of Social Justice and Football Development, JOHNATHAN FRANKLIN, who is a former NFL player and UCLA's all-time leading rusher. Currently a resident of Inglewood, Franklin signed his letter of intent to UCLA at The Serving Spoon in 2009.

The Rams also will work with LA-based photographer Max Hemphill to showcase the commitment of Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance REGGIE SCOTT, who is one of few Black people in the NFL to hold his role and currently serves as the President of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society. On Friday, February 19, Hemphill will produce a photo gallery that embodies Scott's commitment to his work, Rams players, his peers, and his family. The gallery will be accompanied by a written Q & A that explores Scott's journey, the importance of celebrating Black history, and how he hopes to be an inspiration for others.

Additionally, members of the Rams front office staff will host virtual career panels for more than 100 Inglewood Unified students at City Honors high school, Inglewood high school, and Morningside high school throughout the month.

"In recognition of Black History Month, we wanted to tell stories about members of the Rams family that have inspired our staff and partner with local Black artists to bring additional authenticity to the storytelling," said Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff. "We are excited to celebrate our diverse community this month and throughout the year, as we continue to build an organization that reflects the diversity of our city."

The illustrations featured on TheRams.com/blackhistorymonth were created by Los Angeles native D'Ara Nazaryan, who crafted her path as a motion graphics designer and has collaborated with some of the industry's top directors and studios.

In February of 2020, the team celebrated Black History Month in partnership with local non-profit organizations and schools through activations including a special film screening of Just Mercy (2019) and career panels at Charles R. Drew University, a Historically Black Graduate Institution in Los Angeles, and other local schools to provide fans with an inside look at the team's Black staff members, their front office roles and how the organization continues to change the game of football on-and-off the field.

The Rams organization has a storied history of spearheading social change in the NFL dating back to 1946, when the team signed Kenny Washington who became the first African American player in the modern era and ended a 12-year ban on black players in the NFL. Five years later in 1951, the Rams signed Tank Younger who was the first African American player from a historically black college to play in the NFL. In 2018, the team welcomed Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron who became the first male cheerleaders to perform at the Super Bowl.

 

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