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Can Noah's Arc save streets of Chicago?



By GLENN MINNIS
XN Sports

Ever wonder why Joakim Noah always seems to highlight most everyone's list of their favorite NBA stars?

Trust and believe, it goes far beyond him just being the NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and his status as one of the league's toughest-minded and most unrelenting competitors.

The essence of just who Joakim Noah is was on full display on Friday as the All-Star center tirelessly worked a Major Adams Community Center room of teens and adolescents. He preached about a gun and gang violence culture so wildly out-of-control it has all but brought his beloved Chicago hometown whimpering to its knees.

"It's very important that we understand that this is not just a problem that's going on on the South Side, the violence is not a problem that's going on on the West Side," Noah said of his motivation for launching his "Stand Up Chicago" campaign. "This is a Chicago problem."

As part of his hopefully life-saving agenda, Noah also enlisted the aid of teammate and Chi-Town native son Derrick Rose, who appears on a 60-second PSA released in conjunction with the initiative.

Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah Launches New Anti-Violence Initiative

"I stand for my city," boldly proclaims Rose, who is joined in the PSA by rap star and fellow Chicago native Common. Later Noah and his mom, Cecilia Rodhe, released a statement through his Noah's Arc Foundation that implored all Chicagoans "take a stand against violence and become ambassadors for peace and positivity."

Over just the first seven months of this year, at least 207 homicides have been committed in Chicago, including a recent treacherous July 4 weekend where the L.A. Times reports at least 16 were killed and 82 injured over a period of just three-and-half days. In the face of such insufferable tragedy, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has added seven more ATF agents to its former roster of 45 in hopes of somehow of corralling all the madness.

Joakim Noah is convinced there's still far more that needs to be done.

"As somebody who plays for the Bulls, I feel like I'm somebody who represents the city, and I think that helping our youth is important," he said. "The summer months bring a lot of violence, and we felt it was urgent to get a public service announcement out now in order to bring some home, change and support to the community."

In time, Noah plans to host tournaments for grade schoolers and 18-21-year-olds on the same United Center courts he and Rose now regularly star on. But the scope of this movement is so much more than just hoops.

"We have to find a way together, whether you're rich, poor, black, white, whatever you are, to come together and solve this together," said Noah, adding that his foundation will promote many of the arts as a means of offering youths activities that could keep them off the streets and thus provoke positive community upliftment. "To me personally, this is just as important as winning a championship."

There may be bigger NBA stars than Joakim Noah, but how many can you argue really resonate as greater human beings?

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duhenuffbs July 27 2014 at 6:06 PM

No it is not a Chicago problem it is a Black and Latino culture problem. Look at Mexican culture it is violent, uneducated populace that breed a criminal mindset and then creates and adopts this stupid ideology called Chicano/Nazi studies to preach hate and victimization. Most Mexicans are ignorant and illiterate in Spanish in Mexico. Black culture speaks for itself. Lazy pathetic attitude towards education and work. Violent too! If Black culture does not change then violence and ignorance grows. It can be stopped by placing them on their own little island. Yes culture is not only singing and dancing the most important part of culture is education, infrastructure, law abiding, political system, jobs and the like. Quit complaining and start studying. When a white person ***** up and does not study or commits crimes that person is an ignorant piece of ****. What excuse can they use racism?

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11 replies
j.kasza July 27 2014 at 7:38 PM

Add a comment... There is a 70% unwed mother rate in the black community. Absent fathers.Poor morals.HUGE drug problem. And they blame white america. Good luck Noah, you'll need it.

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5 replies
SCOTT !!!!!!!! July 27 2014 at 4:55 PM

FINALLY someone is bringing a Spotlight on to Chicago and the problems there. NOW where are the MISSING rest of the Black Leadership???

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5 replies
tmccull52 July 27 2014 at 8:55 PM

Will wonders never cease? We have a professional athlete who isn't knocking his woman out, isn't out partying it up all over the place, isn't being busted at some nightclub for sexual harassment, or illegally carrying a firearm. Kudos to you, Joakim Noah.

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2 replies
wntuc tmccull52 July 27 2014 at 10:33 PM

Unfortunately the small, small percentage that commit crimes are the ones we hear about. We dont hear of the family oriented players. Ever notice how many former thugs become commentators? Good guys finish last.

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Frank tmccull52 July 28 2014 at 8:19 AM

Actually, most professional athletes are closer to what Noah is then what you discribe. They just don't get the press.

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raptureus210 July 27 2014 at 5:33 PM

The only person who can save anyone is The Man Called Jesus The Christ!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
5 replies
Roger July 27 2014 at 7:10 PM

Why is it that the tax payers who pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes for protection do not DEMAND protection. The mayor is the MAN. Tell the MAN you want protection or get rid of the MAN. We will get what we will tolerate.

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dc2naz July 27 2014 at 4:49 PM

I wish him the best of luck and one piece of advice. Don't go down to the hood.

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1 reply
savannahswithgod dc2naz July 28 2014 at 3:06 AM

He can go down there he just better go in a Abrams fully loaded and his hand on the trigger. Now whether he will get that baby out in one piece is another story?

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chgovette68 July 27 2014 at 8:23 PM

The black community needs jobs for their young people, they need to stay in school and learn to take pride in themselves, and forget all the gang bangers and foul mouth rappers who do nothing but in flame a problem instead of try to fix it. And quit blaming everyone for something that you as a community should work together to develop that pride you should have in yourselves.

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5 replies
hmenglish1 July 27 2014 at 7:28 PM

GOOD LUCK !!!!!
AIN.T GONNA HAPPEN IN YOUR
LIFETIME , !!!!!!

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2 replies
Joe hmenglish1 July 27 2014 at 7:41 PM

Not with that attitude!

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savannahswithgod hmenglish1 July 28 2014 at 3:09 AM

It aint going to happen til they move the killing uptown, there where they are nobody could care less who could solve the problem. Uptown Daddies money or little ones affected the Air Force, Army and Navy will come into play. Then Chicago trouble will move somewhere else. Philly's near isn't it?

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Annika July 27 2014 at 7:57 PM

Exactly WHAT is he going to do other than holding speeches?

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1 reply
savannahswithgod Annika July 28 2014 at 3:12 AM

He's going to run for Police Commish and then look at the budget he get's when voted in and hold some speeches on he needs the support of a lot more to tangle with the problem. Considering how bad this has been and Philly in the past what would the corruption level be between the Police and the Gangs?

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