The NFL will host a series of community events leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft, both in Cleveland and virtually. With this year's focus on pandemic recovery, draft week events and the Draft-a-Thon will focus on creating action and awareness in four key areas at the intersection of pandemic recovery and the hardest hit communities: digital divide, food insecurity, health disparities, and mental health.
Through all of the local efforts, the NFL will leave a lasting, positive legacy in Cleveland and throughout Ohio.
Throughout draft week, the NFL family will safely participate in events designed to give back to the community.
Kicking off the week, the NFL is partnering with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to fight food insecurity, where the NFL will make a $35,000 donation and hand out NFL-themed items such as fresh produce and shelf-stable food.
NFL Green, in partnership with Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, will plant trees, build community gardens, donate unserved food, repurpose event materials, and support a harbor cleanup during the week.
The Cleveland Public Library will host the kickoff of the Inspire Change Huddle Legacy Program, a season-long commitment to help close the digital divide by upgrading technology for children’s programming at the Cleveland Public Library. The NFL Foundation and Cisco are also each donating $75,000, totaling $150,000, to The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library Foundation.
The NFL has been working with the YWCA of Greater Cleveland to curate an NFL-Draft YWCA Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge. Members of the NFL family have read articles, watched videos and listened to podcasts, teaching them about issues around systemic racism, criminal justice, pay inequity, intersectionality and more.
Finishing off the week, there will be a field refurbishment groundbreaking ceremony at Shaw High School in Cleveland where the NFL, the Cleveland Browns, and city and school reps will participate to commemorate the start of the school's football field refurbishment project, which is funded by the Browns and supported by the NFL Foundation through a $200,000 matching field grant.
The ceremony will be followed by a community garden build. The project will be led by the Cleveland Browns and funded by the NFL. Volunteers will plant new garden boxes and landscape, then used by students to grow their own food.
All three days of the NFL Draft will be broadcast on NFL Network, ESPN and ABC, including two nights of primetime coverage on April 30 and May 1.