Written by Bonnie Walker
It’s Super Bowl weekend, and Magic City is teeming with people from all walks of life who’ve come to celebrate the 54th NFL Championship game.
Big icon energy permeated the air at Miami’s SLS Hyde Beach Hotel. Business professionals, pro athletes, world renowned musicians, and reality TV stars alike, filled the pool side walkways, sipping cold cocktails under the warm Miami sky. An odd sense of familiarity was afoot, almost reunion like. The evening was coordinated by Icon Talks, in salute of excellence in sports and entertainment.
The nights honorees, Cee Lo Green, Jason Taylor, Omari Hardwick, Austin Mahone, Dallas Austin, and Anquan Boldin were amongst the names of those in line to receive the Rising Icon award. There were a myriad of quotable moments throughout the night, here a few that stood out in our minds.
“We all have the same emotions, we all have dreams we want to accomplish”. -Austin Mahone, Rising Icon
“My greatest talent was my obedience and my greatest fear was not to be pleasing in the eyes of my maker. So, we are here to celebrate those who maximize each other.” – Cee Lo Green, Rising Icon
All had gathered to celebrate a few good men, who’ve used their platforms to empower and uplift their communities. Men whose work transcends their respective “industry”. The ceremony was powered by the NFLPA, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Super Bowl LIV, and Alaffia, a holistic health and beauty company whose name means health and peace. Olowo-n’djo Tchala, Togo born founder of Alaffia had this to say as a presenting sponsor.
“I am one of over ten children. If you told me that I would be standing here today, I would not have believed it. We don’t need handouts we just need resources”.
The NFL Player’s Association also known as NFLPA, invited its 5 player finalists to receive the Alan Page Community Award.
The award’s namesake is Pro Football Hall of Famer Alan Page. A former player representative of the NFLPA, and first African-American elected to the Supreme Court of Minnesota state.
The 5 player finalists for the Alan Page Community Award are below:
Geno Atkins, of the Cincinnati Bengals. Brandon Carr, of the Baltimore Ravens, whose efforts of benevolence enabled him and his foundation to donate over two-hundred thousand dollars in support of free breast cancer screenings after having lost his mother to the illness. Demario Davis, of the New Orleans Saints, and Bobby Wagner, of the Seattle Seahawks.
Brandon Copeland, of the New York Jets and adjunct professor at UPENN, was awarded the 2020 Alan Page Community award, for his efforts in impacting communities with his Beyond the Basics Foundation, literacy program. He founded the initiative with his wife Taylor.
“We started the foundation to expose adverse youth to opportunity. It’s amazing to see all these players utilizing their platforms while they have it. While you command attention. It’s easy to focus on yourself. When we leave this earth we want to be remembered for more than tackles”.
As a true testament to the power of Black unity, the Florida Memorial University choir, closed out the evening with a rendition of Joyful Joy. What a way to kickoff Black History Month!
If you missed the inspiration laden Icon Talks Award Ceremony, we’ve included some photos for your viewing pleasure.
Photos by Marcia Vergara