Multiple prayers were said prior to the flag football game (Source: WALB)
Marvin "Merv "Mattair led the group from Madison, Florida (Source: WALB)
A united team picture prior to the game (Source: WALB)
Organizers hope this will be the first of many flag football games for unity (Source: WALB)
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -
Football season is weeks away, but Friday night lights got started early in Thomasville.
The "No more shackles empowerment mentoring program" held a unity in the community flag football game Friday night, and while both teams were there for peace, between the lines there was only one thing on their minds.
"We have one gameplan," said Marvin "Merv" Mattair who founded "Boys to Kings" in Madison, Florida. "And that's to win. that's it bro, that's all we do is win baby!"
Mattair was the captain for the team from Madison.
They faced off against the concerned community men of Thomasville which included law enforcement, like Thomasville Police department's Maurice Holmes.
"What's going on across the country is something we're taking head on," said Captain Holmes. "And the only way you can do that is open up dialogue with the community."
Involving Thomasville PD was key to show all in attendance this was not about politics, but about progress.
"The equation is black lives matters, plus police lives matters equals all lives matter," said event organizer and founder of No More Shackles, Ucher Dent.
And throughout the day people were asked to sign their names on a poster to pledge unity to the community.
"It's our job as people to protect the police too," said Mattair. "By teaching our youth our people in the neighborhood how to govern themselves."
"We actually have a pretty good community here in Thomasville," said Dent. "And a good relationship with police officers and people of authority."
The night was full of prayer, progressive conversations and plenty of competitions. Officers and residents both hope events like these will keep the peace in their town.