Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is donating $500,000 toward helping the black community in Atlanta.
Ryan, who is preparing for his 13th season with the team, said he can no longer stand on the sidelines as people of color endure social injustice.
In the wake of last month's death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the wave of protests that have since swept the country, Ryan has established a GoFundMe fundraiser with a goal of $2 million.
"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 said in a statement Friday on Instagram. "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 conditions 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.
"Over the next few weeks, months I'm going to listen to the needs of the black community and get guidance on how I can be most impactful. I'm going to get input from local grassroots organizations as well as community leaders who are committed to making change."
Ryan, 35, came to Atlanta as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. The 2016 NFL MVP guided the Falcons to the Super Bowl that season. He is the franchise's all-time leader in wins (109), passing yards (51,186) and touchdown passes (321).
--Field Level Media