As the world continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL teams have gathered resources to positively affect those in need.
The Cleveland Browns are using their uniform release to drive contributions to the Hats Off to Our Heroes Fund, which was launched Monday. For what the team described as a "significant period of time," the Browns will commit 100 percent of the team's net proceeds from their new jerseys sales to the fund. Cleveland's brand-new ensemble debuts Wednesday at noon ET.
The Hats Off to Our Heroes Fund focuses "on aiding health care professionals, first responders, educational professionals and other groups who are pivotal in the community year round and are valiantly serving as role models in the face of significant adversity due to COVID-19," according to the team.
"When finalizing our uniform announcement, we realized we had an incredible opportunity to further our support of heroes battling COVID-19 on the front lines for our entire community," executive vice president JW Johnson said in a news release from the franchise. "We hope the excitement surrounding the new uniforms can help make a significant impact through the 'Hats Off to Our Heroes' Fund, and we greatly appreciate the support from our fans, retail partners and team to make this special way to give back to those leaders possible."
The franchise has been donating 100 percent of net proceeds from jersey sales at the Browns' in-house team shop to charitable efforts since 2017, but Monday's announcement redirects funds to those dealing with the world's current COVID-19 crisis. Earlier this month, Browns receiver Jarvis Landry partnered with Meijer to donate $15,000 worth of hygiene products to the East Cleveland City School District, and cornerback Denzel Ward pledged to cover the largest monthly expense for 21 people out of work due to the pandemic.
Last week, the Browns teased their Wednesday uniform release -- which will change the franchise's look for the second time since 2015, and was apparently finished with a photo shoot in senior director of digital media Jeremy Zimmer's garage (due to the pandemic) -- with a video that suggested the team might return to its traditional roots with its new sets.