Washington, D.C., Sept. 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Sunday, September 10, 2017 as the NFL season kicks off, players from the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins will not only face-off on the field, but also in the fight to end modern day slavery and human trafficking with the International Justice Mission (IJM).   

 

A group of Eagles players, including Trey Burton, Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Zach Ertz, Chris Maragos, and Jordan Hicks have teamed up to challenge Kirk Cousins and the Redskins to see who can rally more fans to the fight to end slavery.  Beginning September 3 and ending on game day, September 10, the players will be matching their fans’ contributions to IJM as IJM Freedom Partners dollar-for dollar up to $100,000.  As the world’s largest international anti-slavery organization, IJM works in communities across the developing world to rescue and restore survivors, hold perpetrators accountable, and restore broken public justice systems.  To date, IJM has helped to rescue over 40,000 people from slavery, trafficking, and other forms of violent oppression. 

 

“The competition on the field during the season opener against the Eagles is going to be fierce, no doubt. Players on both teams are coming together to engage in a bigger fight off the field – the fight to end modern day slavery. I’m asking Redskins fans to join me in becoming a Freedom Partner with IJM to help end slavery and trafficking for good – and by kickoff at 1 pm on September 10, I want our Redskins Nation with more Freedom Partner sign-ups than Philly. Let's see if we can get it done!  IJM has been in this fight for nearly 20 years, and I’m honored to walk with them as they seek to bring freedom to the poor and vulnerable around the world.”

-Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins quarterback

 

“After traveling with IJM to the Dominican Republic and learning about the horrors of sex trafficking of children, I couldn’t be more excited to launch into the fight to end it on our first game of the season.  We’re rallying Eagles fans to join IJM as Freedom Partners to help bring an end to trafficking and slavery, and engaging in a little friendly competition with the Redskins while we’re at it.  I’m hoping our fans will bring it both in the stands and in the fight to end slavery on Sunday.”

-Trey Burton, Philadelphia Eagles tight end

“When I learned that there are more people living in slavery today than at any other time in history, I was appalled and immediately knew that I wanted to do something about this massive issue.  So as we kick off this season, we’re going head-to-head with the Redskins on the field, AND off the field to see who can rally more fans to join with IJM in the fight to end modern day slavery.  Because at the end of the day, when we are working together for freedom, everyone wins.”

-Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback

 

“I am thrilled that players from two great NFL rival teams are coming together and opening the 2017 football season by using their voices and influence to bring freedom to the poor and vulnerable around the world.  Nothing is more encouraging to me than seeing those with great power use it for the good of those who have none in desperate need.  By partnering with IJM to help us bring rescue to thousands of people in modern day slavery, these incredible athletes are doing just that and I hope that sports fans across America will be inspired to do the same.”

–Gary Haugen, CEO of International Justice Mission

 

There are currently more than 45 million people who are held in slavery today.  IJM Freedom Partners give $24 or more per month to bring rescue to children, women, men and families who are trapped in slavery or are victims of other forms of violence against the poor.  From boys as young as 5 or 6 forced to work brutal hours on fishing boats in Ghana, to families held for generations as bonded laborers in brick kilns, to young girls being sold for sex in the Dominican Republic, IJM Freedom Partners use their resources, influence, and voice to equip IJM’s staff around the world as they work with local law enforcement and governments to bring an end to modern day slavery, until all are free.

 

Eagles fans can join in at www.ijm.org/eagles and Redskins fans can join in at www.ijm.org/redskins.

 

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About TEAM FREEDOM—Pro Athletes Ending Slavery

Launched in 2014, TEAM FREEDOM is a team of professional athletes and their families dedicated to fighting slavery around the globe with IJM. TEAM FREEDOM is using their power and platform in IJM event, campaign and advocacy efforts. Pro partners have raised millions of dollars for the work and traveled internationally to IJM field offices.  

 

Learn more about IJM’s Freedom Partner Program at www.ijm.org/freedompartner.

Attachments:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/eec79473-ed90-42d7-a7b9-142003860573

Maggie Cutrell
International Justice Mission
478-955-4666
mcutrell@ijm.org