(INGLEWOOD, Ca.) - Two of the most powerful developmental pro football programs in the nation - and perennial arch-rivals - will stand together in solidarity for democracy and Ukraine prior to their 6 p.m. battle this Saturday night at historic Jackie Robinson Stadium.
In a show of patriotism, the nine-time champion Inglewood Blackhawks (1-0) and six-time champion SoCal Coyotes (1-0) have agreed to wear ‘color-rush’ uniforms of red and navy - and will observe a moment of silence in support of Ukraine, following the national anthem.
“Freedom isn’t free,” said Blackhawks owner and head Coach Tony Reid, whose organization has assisted dozens of charities over the past two decades. “We stand with Ukraine.
“As we celebrate our personal freedoms and democracy Saturday night, we ask our fans to pray for all people whose right to freedom is denied.”
The war hits close to home for the Coyotes. Dr. Dan Olesnicky, one of the team’s physicians, is a native of Ukraine. Some of his family members have fled the country; others have stayed to fight.
Dr. Olesnicky and the Coyotes - a 501(c)3 and the 2021 California District 28 Nonprofit of the Year - are packing and shipping medical kits to the front lines for wounded women and children.
The Blackhawks and Coyotes urge all their fans, sponsors and partners who wish to contribute supplies for Ukraine to immediately call league official Ron DiGrandi, who is coordinating the shipments, at 760.285.7073.
“We are gravely concerned for children who are caught in the middle of this conflict,” said Coyotes Hall of Fame head coach and non-profit founder J David Miller.
“Women and children have been forced from their homes in sub-zero temperatures, exposed to injury, hunger and cold.
“We must either all stand as one for the Ukrainian people, or quite literally, we stand for nothing at all,” Coach Miller said.
The Blackhawks and Coyotes are flagship franchises in Developmental Football International (DFI) and the LaBelle Developmental Football League (LDFL).
In November 2020, the LDFL entered into a landmark joint-venture with DFI. The partnership supports LDFL member clubs with the full suite of high-growth infrastructure, resources, benefits and expertise the DFI platform provides.
Through community groups, community awareness, community involvement, and a professional approach on and off the field, the LaBelle Developmental Football League provides quality sports entertainment for its communities. The LDFL provides a competitive platform for
young men to earn quality game film with the possibility to graduate to the next level of paid professional football.
DFI is the first American developmental football organization engineered to cultivate the annual flow of 16,000 Division I, II, and III prospects. It is the first turn-key franchise platform to develop elite athletes who are attempting to thread an NFL/CFL needle of opportunity.
Faith, Family, Football™ and ‘Above the Line™ ‘ leadership development is a Chief Cornerstone of DFI, where becoming a “Game-Ready Player’ also requires prospects to be a ‘Life-Ready Man™.’