SOURCE: Connor Sports

Sept. 8 Event Aims to Build Bridges Through Basketball Between ATL Youth and Police

ATLANTA (Aug. 30, 2018) – Connor Sports®, NBA Cares and the Theo Ratliff Foundation have partnered with the Atlanta Police Department (APD) to host the 2018 Atlanta Peace Games on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center in Atlanta.  The Atlanta Hawks are also making a contribution to the initiative by providing gift bags and team-branded merchandise for the event participants.

The event will feature private conversations between local youth, Hawks alumni and APD officers in the morning followed by a basketball game with former Hawks players and other former NBA players vs. APD players at 11:30 a.m.  The basketball game is free and open to the public with doors opening at 10:30 a.m. Parent or guardian permission is required for all children at www.atlpeacegames.com.

Connor Sports, a Gerflor company, helped establish the original Peace Game in Chicago in 2012 in partnership with Father Pfleger of St. Sabina Faith Community parish on Chicago’s South Side and NBA players’ Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Isiah Thomas.  The Peace Games platform has since expanded to other cities in the U.S. including Los Angeles, New Orleans and Philadelphia and Atlanta in 2018. Connor Sports continues to provide court upgrades and event management support for the Peace Games as part of their community engagement mission to address important social issues today through programs that impact sports, youth, and their communities.

“Connor Sports is proud to partner with Atlanta Police Department, NBA Cares, and the Theo Ratliff Foundation to host the Atlanta Peace Games and appreciative of the Atlanta Hawks’ support in providing an opportunity for local teen boys and young men to come together with former Hawks players and members of the APD for a positive basketball and community experience,” said Lauren Gillian, Director of Social Responsibility / Community Relations, Gerflor USA. “The Atlanta Peace Games will provide lessons in non-violent off-court communication skills learned from open conversations with former NBA players coupled with community leaders who use the voice of sports to support social change.” 

“The Hawks are extremely honored to support the Peace Games in Atlanta,” said Andrea Carter, Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion at the Atlanta Hawks. “We are committed to fostering the conversations in our community that encourage an atmosphere of understanding, inclusion and unity.” 

“The Atlanta Police Department is pleased to be a part of the partnership that is hosting the 2018 Atlanta Peace Games, and we are hopeful that participation will be strong. This is a terrific opportunity for officers to have much-needed positive interactions with young people, which is a vital component of our policing efforts. When we positively interact with a child on the front end, we have the potential to change their outlook on law enforcement for life. The significant impacts of building these valuable relationships with Atlanta’s youth can be endless,“ said Chief Erika Shields, Atlanta Police Department.

“It is an honor to have the Theo Ratliff Foundation partner with Connor Sports, the Atlanta Hawks Foundation and APD’s Police Athletic League to bring to you the ATL Peace Game! Being a part of bridging the gap between the police and the community is a responsibility I gladly put on my shoulders,” said Theo Ratliff, founder of the Atlanta-based Theo Ratliff Foundation and former Atlanta Hawk.

ABOUT CONNOR SPORTS

Founded in 1872, Connor Sports® is the leader in hardwood sports flooring and is a preferred provider to the NCAA®, NBA, FIBA and other organizations.  Connor Sports has a proven commitment to sustainability with an excellent environmental record in responsible forestry including use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials and is the only flooring company with an Environmental Product Declaration.  The company’s manufacturing facility in Amasa, MI is independently-audited and compliant with ISO 14001 standards.  Connor Sports products also include leading vulcanized rubber sports surfaces.  Connor Sports is a part of a Gerflor® company.  Gerflor’s cutting-edge technology, history of innovation and design-forward products as an international leader in the flooring industry provides Connor Sports with global scope and enhanced research and technology. The Gerflor portfolio also includes Sport Court® and Taraflex® brands. Connor Sports is on the web at www.connorsports.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/connorsportsand on Twitter @Connor_Sports.