Kirby Smart and Matthew Stafford endow social justice program for UGA athletics


Kirby Smart and Matthew Stafford endow social justice program for UGA athletics

FILE – In this April 20, 2019, file photo, Georgia coach Kirby Smart speaks with the media after an NCAA college football spring game in Athens, Ga. For the first time, the defending national champion Clemson Tigers are No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. Alabama is No. 2, Georgia is No. 3. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP, File)

Fletcher Page

Significant financial contributions by two Georgia football legends will kickstart a UGA athletics social justice program, the university announced Friday.

Kirby Smart and Matthew Stafford combined to donate $500,000 to launch strategic initiatives regarding diversity, inclusion and equity.

“I am grateful to Matthew Stafford and Coach Kirby Smart for their generous gifts to fund this important initiative and am excited about the opportunity the program presents for us to promote an inclusive culture among our student-athletes, coaches, and staff,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead in a statement.

Stafford and his wife Kelly donated $350,000; Smart and his wife Mary Beth $150,000.

The goal of the program, according to a UGA press release, “is to continue developing an environment that will effect meaningful change,” for athletes, coaches and staff.

“The generosity of Matthew and Coach Smart allows the Athletic Association to implement strategic initiatives in diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice,” said UGA director of athletics Greg McGarity. “These gifts will help the Athletic Association educate, implement dynamic programming, and execute service opportunities to achieve our goals, those being to foster critical consciousness, cultural competence and further developing change within the Athletic Association and our greater community.”

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