October 11, 2018 at 7:07 am #2089
In the months leading up to the 2019 Super Bowl Valtteri Filppula Jersey , some of Atlanta’s bare walls will get a makeover.
The city of Atlanta and the Super Bowl Host Committee have partnered with arts group WonderRoot to launch “Off the Wall.” The project will create up to 30 murals focusing on Atlanta’s past, present and future role in civil and human rights. The murals will transform the city in hopes of sparking a community-wide conversation, said Brett Daniels, chief operating officer of the host committee.
The initiative was announced Thursday at a press conference in front of a mural of civil rights giant U.S. Rep. John Lewis. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms noted the importance of the location: The mural is close the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached. The streets surrounding the mural were the birthplace of Atlanta’s civil rights movement, Bottoms said.
“Quite often art is a conversation starter,” Bottoms said.
Although the Super Bowl is a one-time event in Atlanta, those involved with Off the Wall hope the event leaves an enduring legacy. In recent years, street art has popped up throughout the city. By focusing on human and civil rights as the content of the murals, Off the Wall hopes to create lasting conversations about issues affecting the city.
“There is no greater legacy than Atlanta’s contributions to the civil rights movement,” WonderRoot executive director Chris Appleton said.
The artwork will begin appearing in the city this fall. A subcommittee is scouting locations and talent to produce the work, but officials said some of the murals will be downtown. Freedom University, an initiative that provides college prep and other services for immigrant students in the country illegally, will help in both the creation and installation of the art.
“Young people in this city have been leading the way for human rights,” Freedom University executive director Laura Emiko Soltis said. She said they were “standing on the shoulders of giants,” referencing leaders such as Lewis.
NFL players have sparked controversy and drawn criticism from President Donald Trump and some members of the public for kneeling during the national anthem. Although inspired by the way people are using their spotlight to promote human rights, Off the Wall was in the works before the anthem protests, Appleton said. The project has the support of the NFL, according to Daniels.
“This project was inspired by the way artists and other activists struggle for justice and equality for all,” Appleton said, calling protests a powerful way to transform communities.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Former University of Tennessee star linebacker A.J. Johnson is getting a shot in the NFL with the Denver Broncos less than a month after he was acquitted along with a college teammate of aggravated rape charges.
After his first practice as a pro Monday Womens Odell Beckham Jr Jersey , Johnson said, “It’s a blessing to be a part of a team, I’m excited to get out here, start working out and start working my tail off.”
He said he never doubted he’d see this day .
“No, never a time. I had faith. I trusted in God,” he said. “I kept working and being determined and kept pushing. I knew it was going to come.”
Johnson said the Broncos reached out to him Saturday.
Coach Vance Joseph said he wasn’t sure what to expect from Johnson following such a long layoff from football.
“Well, we’ll see. It’s been three years since he’s actually played football. At that time, three years ago, he was a serious prospect,” Joseph said. “He’s got great size, he can run, he’s a very, very intelligent player. So, we’ll see.”
Johnson and Michael Williams were acquitted of all counts July 27. They were indicted in February 2015 after a woman said both men raped her during a party at Johnson’s apartment in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 2014. Johnson and Williams were suspended from the team less than 48 hours after the party and never played for Tennessee again.
While Williams was a part-time starter in the secondary, Johnson was a four-year starter and a pro prospect whose invitation to the 2015 NFL combine was rescinded after charges were filed.
“A.J. hasn’t had the opportunity to play football for the last three years while resolving a serious legal matter,” general manager John Elway said in a statement Monday. “We’ve had several conversations with him since he’s been cleared and have become very familiar with his background and character. Our organization is confident A.J. is ready to move forward and resume his playing career.”
Joseph said the Broncos did their due diligence before signing Johnson.
“We talked to all of his coaches. My cousin actually coached him at Tennessee. Zach (Azzanni, Denver’s new wide receivers coach) had him at Tennessee. Everyone spoke highly about the guy, so we’ll see. Again, he wants to play football, he’s been training for two years to play football. He’s been here for four hours, so we’ll see how he fits in.”
To make room for Johnson Authentic Martinas Rankin Jersey , the Broncos released linebacker Stansly Maponga.
They also signed safety Shamarko Thomas after losing safety Jamal Carter (torn hamstring) for the season Saturday night in their preseason opener. Joseph said Carter needs surgery and will go on IR.
Thomas was released by the Colts on Saturday, less than 48 hours after he was ejected from a preseason game against Seattle for an illegal helmet hit.
Thomas said Colts coach Frank Reich told him his release wasn’t over that hit, however.
“It’s all in God’s plan. The ejection, I leaned with my helmet, that’s what they say. I’m just happy to be here and be a Bronco,” Thomas said.
Now a 26-year-old rookie, Johnson was a three-time All-SEC selection at Tennessee from 2011-14. He was a four-year starter in Knoxville whose 425 tackles ran second among any Volunteer since the school started keeping track of the statistic in 1970.
In 46 career games at Tennessee, he had 30½ tackles for loss, three sacks, an interception, 11 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He posted double digits in tackles 23 times.
Prosecutors painted Johnson and Williams as entitled athletes who weren’t used to being told no. Defense attorneys argued that the woman had sex with both men at the same time and then lied, claiming she had been raped.
After a jury of seven women and five men found Johnson and Williams not guilty, Johnson said, “I just knew God was going to take care of it.”
The Broncos listed the 6-foot-2 Johnson at 243 pounds, but he said at his trial last month that he weighs 255 as he sought to revive his dream of playing in the NFL.
Johnson said he wasn’t bitter over his long-delayed debut.
“No, I’m not a bitter guy. I wake up happy every day. I’m blessed, I’m glad to be out here,” he said. “I haven’t had this many cameras in my face in a long time. But no, I have no bitterness about me.”
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