Ryan, wearing the # 2 jersey, has set himself the goal of raising $ 2 million.
Floyd, who was black, died last week in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on the neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin was charged with second degree murder.
Racial injustice has come to the forefront of national conversations and has sparked protests across the country. Floyd’s death was the tipping point after a number of deadly Black-man encounters, including the murder of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police and the gunshot death of Ahmaud Arbery, which led to murder charges against three white men in Georgia.
Ryan explained why he decided to take such action.
“Last week I committed to listening and learning, and one of the messages that struck me was the difference between reacting to a situation and reacting to a situation,” said Ryan in a statement. “For too long, I have responded to social injustice with empathy and silent support, but have failed to follow through on active support. I think the time has come to RESPOND. Each of us must respond.
“I see my city suffering, which is why I am launching a fundraiser to help improve the conditions of people of color in the city of Atlanta. … Over the next few weeks, months, I will listen to the needs of the black community and get advice on how I can have the most impact. I will get input from grassroots local organizations as well as community leaders who are committed to change. “
Ryan already made an impression on his teammates when he spoke on Instagram after Floyd’s death.
“My heart goes out to all who have loved George Floyd and to all who have been affected by similar tragedies,” wrote Ryan. “I know that I cannot fully understand the depth and complexity of these problems due to the color of my skin, which is a sad testimony to all the work that remains to be done. I know that I am only one man, but I know that I am committed to doing what I can. This commitment includes listening and learning with all humility and compassion. It’s the least I can do. It’s the least we can all do. “
Falcons captain Ricardo Allen applauded Ryan’s position.
“For Ice to show his support and have love, it’s really just an acknowledgment that he understands,” said Allen. “So that Ice probably comes from a totally different environment and place of life, so I’m coming – and I can’t expect him to fully experience what it’s like to grow up in the hood or what it really feels like to be a black man in America – but for him to actually take that stand and say that and let us know how he feels, I appreciate that. “