National Lacrosse League Launches Initiative Around Inclusion
The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest professional lacrosse property in the world, has continued its “commitment to its foundational pillars of heritage, inclusion and service with the unveiling of NLL Unites, the league’s umbrella social responsibility program.”
NLL Unites will “combine the efforts of the league, teams, players and partners to promote each of those pillars through storytelling, education, activation and access.
NLL Unites will continue to evolve as the program develops and grows. Most visibly and imminently for the coming 2021-22 NLL season, players will wear a specially designed helmet decal with a Every Child Matters logo designed by Curt Styres and the Halifax Thunderbirds organization, raising awareness of the history and role of residential schools throughout North America.
“NLL Unites is the creation of a tremendous amount of work led by our Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and many others throughout the process,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “It will provide continued direction increasing our commitment to important initiatives that make a meaningful difference in many lives and will also allow support of programs that are authentic in their connection to lacrosse.”
The pillars of heritage, inclusion and service “are at the heart of NLL Unites:
- Heritage involves honoring the history of lacrosse and being advocates for the indigenous community. It connects inherently with our sport, NLL players and staff.
- Inclusion is focused on making sure anyone who wants to play, watch or experience the NLL feels welcome. We want more people and kids having access to lacrosse. We embrace the challenge to make lacrosse for everyone.
- Service highlights the community efforts of the league and its teams as the NLL is now in 15 markets across North America; we will work to positively impact our communities and give back.
NLL Unites was formed through collaboration and consultation with various partners and leaders in CSR. RISE conducted a series of focus groups with NLL players, teams, and front office staff to explore topics around diversity and inclusion, heritage, and equality. Together with the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology, students conducted a CSR landscape analysis and recommended suggestions and initiatives that contributed to the framework of NLL Unites. Furthermore, the NLL reached out to other leagues, consultants, and ongoing partners to best understand the unique needs of the sport and its growing fandom.
Specific initiatives and programs will be announced throughout the 2021-22 season and beyond as NLL Unites puts a clear vision to the league’s corporate social responsibility efforts. These commitments will be guided through the subject matter expertise of the NLL’s non-profit partners including RISE, You Can Play and Right to Play, with more partners to come. Fans and anyone else who is interested can learn more about NLL Unites and learn how to get involved at nll.com/nll-unites.”