Sports Spectrum Weekly

Demario Davis tackles bail reform in kickoff of Players Coalition campaign

After a summer of serving communities around the nation, Demario Davis has laid the framework for monthly activism from the Players Coalition, a nonprofit founded in 2017 by NFL players seeking to use their platforms to promote social equality.

The veteran New Orleans Saints linebacker took to Twitter on Thursday to announce a multi-issue initiative:

“On behalf of the Players Coalition,” he said, “I am pleased to announce the launch of our season-long campaign. Each month, we’ll focus on a new critical issue in criminal justice reform — everything from juvenile justice, voter rights restoration and policing. We’ll also bring attention to the power of elected officials like district attorneys and sheriffs.”

The efforts are an extension of community engagement from Davis and dozens of other NFL players, some of whom used on-field protests as early as 2016 to raise awareness of certain issues. And they will begin during the first month of the 2018 season with an eye on one specific cause.

“In September, we’re focusing on our first topic: Bail reform,” Davis announced, adding on Twitter that “over 70 percent of people in jails have not been convicted of a crime” because of the constraints of cash bail on impoverished inmates.

As part of the Coalition’s work, Davis said players will be “watching bail hearings, working with bail funds as well as meeting with officials who have the chance to reform the system.”

And all of it, he added, will be done with the Coalition’s mission in mind: “Let’s join together and make our communities more fair, more just and more compassionate.”

A seventh-year NFL veteran and devout Christian, Davis played for the New York Jets (2012-2015, 2017) and Cleveland Browns (2016) before joining the Saints this offseason. In his short time in New Orleans, the linebacker has made headlines for his charity, garnering Time magazine recognition for “Changing the South” and dedicating time this summer alongside fellow NFL veteran Josh Norman to visit children detained at the Mexico border.

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