EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — The Browns hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today at East Cleveland City Schools’ Shaw Stadium.
This marks the 10th time the team has installed a turf field in Northeast Ohio, by the Haslam and Johnson families and Browns Give Back, since the team’s field initiative launched five years ago in May 2016, according to a Browns press release.
Officials gathered to celebrate the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland and the team’s commitment to education and youth and high school football.
The Haslam-Johnson family, head coach Kevin Stefanski, NFL executives, East Cleveland Schools CEO and Superintendent Dr. Henry Pettiegrew, Cuyahoga County Execute Armond Budish and the East Cleveland mayor’s office were among those gathered in support of the event along with Shaw High School students and faculty.
Whitney Haslam-Johnson commended East Cleveland City Schools in their partnership with the Cleveland Browns Foundation’s “Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day!” Network.
“Today is symbolic of the connection between academics and sports,” she said. “We believe if you have education, opportunities to represent your school through athletics whether you participate in athletics or the band, you strive in the classroom so you can wear you uniform.”
The new field, made for multiple sports, is not only for Shaw Cardinals to use but also the community and the Police Athletic League’s East Cleveland Chiefs.
- The Cleveland Browns used Shaw Stadium for practices during the 70s
- Whitney Haslam Johnson, daughter of Jimmy, says today is symbolic of the importance of combining academics with sports
- She commends East Cleveland Schools’ CEO and Superintendent Dr. Henry Pettiegrew for his commitment to the focus on driving school attendance in the Stay in Game Program
- She acknowledged Mya Tomoto, a senior at Shaw High School in East Cleveland, who announced the Browns first-round pick at No. 26, Greg Newsome II
- Shaw football player, Jai’vier Robinson, says he is thankful for the new field so he and his teammates can have an improved place to practice and play
- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in attendence and says it’s so important to do these things for the kids
- Goodell commended the work done in East Cleveland for closing the digital divide for students
- He also thanked the Haslam family for all they’ve done for the community