Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, his wife Kelly, have joined current Georgia Bulldogs football coach Kirby Smart, and his wife Mary Beth, in creating a new social justice program for the University of Georgia athletic department. An official release was made Friday morning.
The total endowment to start the program comes in at $500,000, with $350,000 coming from the Staffords.
“These gifts will help the Athletic Association educate, implement dynamic programming, and execute service opportunities to achieve our, those being to foster critical consciousness, cultural competence and further developing change within our athletic association and our current community,” said Director of Athletics Greg McGarity in the release.
“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,” added University of Georgia President Jere Morehead.
Stafford went to college at the University of Georgia. He played three years for the Bulldogs before declaring for the NFL draft. He was then selected by the Lions with the first overall pick in 2009. He was also the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2018 for the work he did with S.A.Y. Detroit and Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan.
Smart has featured as the Bulldogs head coach since 2016. A time that has included an appearance in the College Football Playoff National Championship game. He also previously featured as a running backs coach for the Bulldogs in 2005.