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Lyft Pledges $500K In Free Rides To Civil Rights Orgs, Bail Funds

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Rideshare app Lyft has pledged $500,000 in free rides to civil rights organizations in the wake of the death of George Floyd as protests and riots erupt across the country. Some of the organizations include National Urban League, NAACP, National Action Network, Black Women’s Roundtable and National Bail Fund Network.

“We want to take a moment to speak candidly about the tragedy that is enveloping our country right now. To our Black community members, we recognize your pain and feelings of fatigue over the injustices you face every day. The color of your skin should not impact how you are treated,” Lyft Co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer wrote in a joint email to customers.

“Acts of injustice against Black Americans — including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper, and countless others — have created an inflection point. This is a call to action for each and every one of us to do better, to speak up, and to be part of the solution.”

The company’s program for donating rides, LyftUp, has been offered to customers during times of crisis. For example, free rides were offered to evacuate people in 2017’s Hurricane Harvey and 2018’s California Camp Fire.

The Co-founders added, “Systemic racism is deeply rooted in our society, and it’s important that Lyft supports organizations that fight it.”

“As part of our continued commitment to communities of color through LyftUp, our transportation access initiative, we’re providing $500,000 in ride credit to national civil rights organizations who have been working to facilitate essential transportation and equitable access during the recent crises (National Urban League, NAACP, National Action Network, Black Women’s Roundtable and National Bail Fund Network).”

In Minneapolis, the company will provide the ride credits to Lake Street Council members who are volunteering “with rebuilding efforts.”

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Boston Celtics Player Legally Changing Name to ‘Enes Kanter Freedom’ to Celebrate U.S. Citizenship

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Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is celebrating becoming a U.S. citizen in an incredible way. The 29-year-old athlete from Turkey is having his citizenship oath ceremony Monday, and will legally change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom.

Kanter is an outspoken human rights advocate who had his Turkish passport revoked in 2017 after he criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mediaite reports “he has also criticized NBA stars Michael Jordan and LeBron James for not doing enough to help the Black community and not speaking out against exploitative labor practices in China respectively.”

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told the Boston Globe the team is “all for” the player’s name change. Kanter’s manager says the player will complete his legal name change to have Kanter become his middle name and Freedom be his new last name at Monday’s ceremony.

“We congratulated him as a group for getting his American citizenship last week,” Udoka said. “That’s who Enes is, we’re proud of him. Enes is who he is. He’s passionate about his stances and the name change; you look at [Ron] Artest [who changed his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak] and guys that have done it in the past. It’s something he wants to express and we’re all for it.”

Kanter has already changed his official Twitter account to Enes Kanter FREEDOM with his new last name in all caps. Freedom made waves when he tweeted the following on November 18: Money over Morals for the ‘King’. Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice. They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss [inserted Chinese flag] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”

The tweet included photos of basketball shoes he wore painted with human rights depictions and phrases such as “hey still researching and getting educated?” as well as “I am informed and educated on the situation.”

The statement is with regard to his criticism of LeBron James’ partnership with Nike. “Nike remains one of the NBA’s biggest sponsors as both organizations feed off their partnerships with China” reports Mediaite. Kanter Freedom also made an offer to take Michael Jordan and Nike co-founder Phil Knight to China in order for the men to “visit these slave labor camps and you can see it with your own eyes.”

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