Global sports stars joined diplomats and international officials at the United Nations in New York to highlight how sport can empower youth and advance global health and development.
The Jack Brewer Foundation, in partnership with UNAIDS, brought together athletes from the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Olympics and more than 20 players from the National Football League (NFL) who joined the summit on the eve of the LXVIII Super Bowl final.
Led by Jack Brewer, founder of the Jack Brewer Foundation and Sidney Rice, a wide receiver with the Seattle Seahawks, NFL stars and agents described how they are ‘giving back to their communities’ by using the power of football to engage young people—in the United States and in developing countries such as Haiti and Malawi—on health promotion and development.
The spokespersons for the UNAIDS Protect the goal campaign, Ndaba and Kweku Mandela, called for engaging youth around the world to reach an AIDS-free generation and continue the legacy of their grandfather, Nelson Mandela, in the AIDS response. The Protect the goal campaign aims to raise awareness of HIV and mobilize young people to commit to HIV prevention in conjunction with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
“Sports have opened so many doors. I’ve been to Asia, South America, and many different countries that I have never dreamed of growing up. We want to find the best way possible to protect the children who are growing up playing at the early ages.”
Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver and Super Bowl champion
“Sports stars are more than role models. You are transforming the lives of underprivileged youth around our great nation and the world.”
Jack Brewer, Founder/Executive Director, Jack Brewer Foundation
“My grandfather Nelson Mandela believed that sport has the power to inspire and speak in a language that youth understand. This is a great opportunity to be involved in UNAIDS Protect the goal campaign.”
Ndaba Mandela, Spokesperson for the UNAIDS Protect the goal campaign
“Sports are a great equalizer of humanity—uniting rich and poor, young and old. And sports stars have the unique ability to inspire people who might not otherwise be reached.”
Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS