(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: In concert with their NFL “Inspire Change” initiative, the Los Angeles Rams recently announced that their partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Youth Football Team representing the Lincoln Heights area of our city, has had their team name changed to the North East Lincoln Rams.
Please read more in-depth about this outstanding story in the Rams press announcement just below, and then take a good look at the brief video of the team in recent game action.
LOS ANGELES RAMS & LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT RENAME NORTH EAST LINCOLN TIGERS, NORTH EAST LINCOLN RAMS
Rams Announce North East Lincoln Rams Youth Football Program During Rams-Broncos Week 16 Inspire Change Game
The Los Angeles Rams and the North East Lincoln Tigers, a youth football program coached by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers serving youth in the Ramona Gardens public housing development in Boyle Heights, are launching a partnership that includes renaming the youth team the NORTH EAST LINCOLN RAMS.
On Christmas Sunday, during the Rams-Broncos “Inspire Change” themed matchup, North East Lincoln Rams youth players and coaches were invited on the field during the second quarter for the special announcement and received the first North East Lincoln Rams jerseys.
As part of the partnership, the Rams will fund all football components of the North East Lincoln Rams program, including uniforms and equipment. Throughout the year, the Rams will provide engagement opportunities with current players, alumni, coaches, scouts, football operations and front office staff, as well as develop joint programs that focus on character development and community service to expand their knowledge and ignite their passions beyond the playing field. The Rams also will provide incentive-based rewards to reinforce the importance of education through tickets to Rams games, autographed items, merchandise and outings.
“We are so proud and grateful to work in partnership with the LA Rams,” said Chief Emada Tingirides, Commanding Officer of the LAPD, Community Safety Partnership Bureau. “Their efforts invariably support the LAPD’s quest to cultivate trust between police officers and the community members they are sworn to serve through purposeful programming designed to generate increased understanding, foster deeper human connections and eliminate barriers to effective communication. I honor the LA Rams for their acts of kindness throughout the City that have moved the needle of progress in such areas as social justice and equitable access to resources. The expansion of the LA Rams’ footprint, to now include the Lincoln Rams youth sports, supports togetherness and eliminates divisiveness—which reflects my belief that we are safer, more resilient and better equipped to navigate life’s challenges and ‘Inspire Change’ when we work in unity, with humility and in support of humanity.”
The North East Lincoln Rams will continue to play their home games at Kenny Washington Stadium at Abraham Lincoln High School, the alma mater of former LAPD officer and iconic Rams Legend Kenny Washington, who broke the color barrier in professional sports. The North East Lincoln Rams have four football teams: 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U, as well as a cheerleading program.
The North East Lincoln Rams program will be modeled after the Rams efforts with the Watts Rams youth football program. Entering the 2019 season, the Rams formalized their support of the Watts Rams (formerly known as the Watts Bears) and the LAPD’s efforts to bridge community and police relations through the game of football. The partnership was announced at the Rams Training Camp by Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and LAPD officer and former Watts Rams head coach Zarren Thompson.
“Building on the success of the Watts Rams, we are excited to expand our impact to East Los Angeles by adopting the former North East Lincoln Tigers,” said Molly Higgins, executive vice president of community impact and engagement, Los Angeles Rams. “We know the Watts Rams model works by using the game of football to help bridge the divide between law enforcement and communities of color and create meaningful relationships between the two. We look forward to wrapping our organizational arms around the Lincoln Rams and helping to inspire more positive change. Like the Watts Rams, the Lincoln Rams will be more than just a youth football program. It will be a program grounded in youth development and focused on creating better humans not just football players.”
Earlier this month, the Rams hosted an inaugural Inspire Change Bowl at Abraham Lincoln High School for the Watts Rams and North East Lincoln Rams (formerly known as the North East Lincoln Tigers) youth football and cheerleading programs to celebrate their seasons.
-ABOUT THE NORTH EAST LINCOLN RAMS-
The North East Lincoln Rams (formerly known as the North East Lincoln Tigers) was started more than 15 years ago as a program to serve the youth residing in one of the most gang affiliated and recurrently violent communities of Los Angeles. The LAPD officers from the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Bureau began to support the North East Lincoln Rams in YEAR, with the officers coaching student-athletes in football and track & field. The teams were created to give underprivileged youth in the Ramona Gardens public housing development a chance to play organized sports but on a larger scale, and to positively change the historically strained relationship between the police and the community of Boyle Heights.
-ABOUT KENNY WASHINGTON-
In 1946, the Rams broke the color barrier in the NFL with the signing of UCLA standout and Los Angeles native, Kenny Washington, who was the first Black player to be signed by an NFL team in the modern era and ended a 12-year ban on Black players in the NFL. Washington played for the Rams for three seasons and still holds the team’s 92-yard rushing record. To celebrate Kenny Washington and his impact, the Rams created a “Kenny Washington Memorial Scholarship” that provides up to four years of financial support for students from lower resourced communities who are among the first in their families to pursue a postsecondary education.
-ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES RAMS INSPIRE CHANGE EFFORTS-
Launched in 2019, Inspire Change is a league-wide platform that focuses on reducing barriers to opportunity and creating progress in education, economic advancement, community and police relations, and criminal justice reform. The Los Angeles Rams Inspire Change efforts aim to create solutions that address community barriers and highlight stories and moments in Rams’ history that have inspired change on and off the field. From Kenny Washington and Woody Strode breaking the NFL color barrier by signing with the Rams in 1946 to former Rams Legend Shack Harris becoming the first Black quarterback to win a playoff game in 1974, the Rams are committed to pioneering with a purpose. Throughout the year and as part of Inspire Change, the Rams will recognize individuals that are doing critical work to create positive change in their communities. –RAMS–