Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is stepping up for the city of Atlanta. Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons star Matt Ryan is putting his money where his mouth is. Days after speaking out passionately following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback has decided to take more action.

Ryan is donating $500,000 to help the African-American community in Atlanta. He has also set up a GoFundMe page with the hope of raising $2 million for the community.

“Last week I made a commitment to listening and learning, and one of the messages that hit home for me was the difference between reacting to a situation and responding to a situation,” Ryan wrote on the GoFundMe page. “For far too long I have reacted to social injustice with empathy and silent support but failed to follow through with active support. I feel the time has come to RESPOND. For ALL of us to respond.”

This is not a surprise. Ryan has been a leader in the Atlanta community since the Falcons made him the third overall pick in 2008. As evidenced by the protests we’ve seen in Atlanta the past several days, leaders from all walks of life must continue to step up. Ryan is obviously doing his part.

As protests were boiling over in Atlanta days after Floyd's death while in police custody, Ryan released this statement:

“My heart goes out to all of those who loved George Floyd, and all those who have been impacted by similar tragedies. I know that I cannot fully understand the depth and complexity of these issues because of the color of my skin, which is a sad testament to all of the work we have left to do,” Ryan said last week.” I know I am only one man, but I’m I also know I am committed to doing what I can. That commitment includes listening and learning with all humility and compassion. It is the least I can do. IT is the least WE all can do.”

Listening and learning. That has been the common theme around the United States over the past several days. It was raised again around the NFL this week after New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ remarks surrounding national anthem protests drew backlash.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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