KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the same location where the Negro Leagues were formed more than 100 years ago, on Tuesday a different professional sports league was hoping to “Inspire Change.”

Exactly one week after protesters called for change in Kansas City and justice for Ralph Yarl, current and former NFL players joined community and civic leaders for a Social Justice Town Hall.

“Recently Ralph Yarl being shot as a child I thought about my childhood, I thought about me knocking on people’s doors,” Usama Young, former NFL safety, said.

Dr. David Wall Rice, who hosted the panel as part of the NFL’s Inspire Change social justice initiative, said it would be irresponsible not to use the shooting incident of a Black teen who mistakenly knocked on the door of an older white man in Kansas City as an opportunity to learn and to move forward.

“Not to be exploitative, but to be responsive to this young brother and his family in ways that allow horrors that happened to him not to happen to other community members,” Wall Rice said.

There to listen and take part in the discussion, Chiefs President Mark Donovan, and players Justin Reid and Trey Smith.

“I think at end of the day man its a tough situation. That young man’s life is forever impacted by the events that happened. Anything to spark change and to be a part of a common understanding I want to be a part of that,” Smith said.

“Coming here today is important on so many levels, because you get the first step about attacking real issues that we see in our community is first being aware,” Reid said.

The Chiefs this month matched Reid’s $15,000 donation to the Central High Robotics team and STEM programs. Part of the NFL’s social justice initiative includes equity in education.

“At the end of the day you can’t talk about education and equity without talking about racial justice. These two things are linked, so what happens in the community is going to impact what happens in the classroom,” Jeff Shaffer, City Year KC executive director, said.

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FOX4 wasn’t allowed inside for the majority of the discussion.

The NFL called it a sensitive topic. The league announced earlier this year it was extending the Inspire Change program another five years, committing another $15 million to the initiative.