Three Miami Dolphins joined members of the NFL team’s staff at Miami’s Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Islamic Center of Greater Miami on Tuesday, taking part in a cultural tour along with community leaders, local youngsters and members of Miami law enforcement.
This was the team’s fourth Football Unites event of the season, in partnership with Baptist Health and the Greater Miami and Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureaus.
“I think it’s really good that the Dolphins do things like this,” said Dolphins’ defensive safety Steven Parker, in a statement, “because it allows everyone to come together and be around the kids to share and gain knowledge along with them.” Parker joined wide receiver Isaiah Ford and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins on the tour.
“This is very important for myself and the community because it allows us to learn other people’s culture, learn about the community we live in and gives the community the opportunity to actually see us as just people not just football players inside the helmet,” said Parker.
“We appreciate what Football Unites does to bring communities together for positive interactions and social experiences,” said Stonewall National Museum & Archives Deputy Director Emery Grant, in a statement, “so we can create these dialogues within our communities and develop an understanding.”
“Anytime that we have a chance to come together with positive community groups and start a dialogue about our mutual shared experiences and differences in ways that are thoughtful and respectful we are helping to develop healthy communities.”
After the tour of the Stonewall Museum, the players and staff boarded a bus for the Islamic Center of Greater Miami, where they were shown around and shared a traditional meal. Their mission there was to learn about Muslim culture and the area’s Islamic heritage.
“Sports has amazing and unique way of making a positive impact in society,” said Islamic Center of Greater Miami Imam & Religious Director Dr. Abdul Hamid Samra, in a statement.
“We appreciate the Miami Dolphins Football Unites Cultural Tour visiting our center and we hope that it will encourage and achieve better understanding and harmony among all our communities in South Florida.”
In a statement, the Dolphins announced that players worked with chairman of the board and managing general partner Stephen Ross to create the Football Unites program, as a way to bring positive social change. The organization’s goal is to highlight the importance of being inclusive, of celebrating diversity and to be more aware of the intersections that make up South Florida. The goal is to unite people of a variety of races, genders, sexual orientations, identities, abilities and faiths around the power of football, according to the statement.
See a slideshow of the Dolphins’ Football Unites cultural tour by clicking here.