Matt Ryan ‘rises up’ as Falcons QB, donates $500K to help Atlanta’s black community

Matt Ryan knows how to rise up as the Falcons long-time starting quarterback. The one-time NFL MVP once again showed he also remains a most valuable resident of Atlanta.

Ryan announced on Instagram Friday that he’s donating $500,000 to improve the lives of the black community and other people of color in his city. While pledging the initial half million, as a startup, Ryan also started a GoFundMe campaign with the intent of raising a total of $2 million.

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In the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, many NFL players are stepping up in different ways in the battle of better social justice in America. Ryan, playing in a city where a third of the population is African-American, can make a big positive impact with his voice and his means.

Over the past week, after Ryan took in all the messages behind the protests he’s seen in Atlanta and throughout the country, that prompted him to go beyond words and right into action.

“Last week I made a commitment to listening and learning, and one of the messages that hit home for me was the difference between reacting to a situation and responding to a situation,” Ryan wrote. “For far too long I have reacted to social injustice with empathy and silent support but failed to follow through with active support. I feel the time has come to RESPOND. For ALL of us to respond.

“I see my city hurting, which is why I’m starting a fundraiser to help improve the community for people of color in the city of Atlanta. I’m kicking it off with a $500K donation and am asking you to consider donating as well. Whether big or small, you will be joining me in making a difference.”

Ryan’s fundraiser is called “Advancing the Lives (ATL) of the Black Community.” In just four hours after promoting the fund on Instagram, Ryan got nearly 1,000 people to donate more than $50,000 combined to help the cause. That number is bound to grow fast and reach its goal in no time.