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President Obama joins NFL players in Thanksgiving message

  • By National Football League
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Brees, Polamalu and Ware star in PSA filmed at White House

President Barack Obama will join Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware in a special public service announcement debuting during each of the three NFL games played on Thanksgiving. The 90-second PSA is a joint effort of the NFL's PLAY 60 campaign, a leaguewide effort to fight childhood obesity by getting kids active for 60 minutes a day, and United We Serve, the President's initiative encouraging all Americans to participate in community service. The spot will continue airing throughout the rest of the season in a shorter format.

Special to NFL.com
DeMarcus Ware, Drew Brees and Troy Polamalu joined President Barack Obama and a group of local children on the White House lawn.

Joined by children from the Washington, D.C. area, the President and players come together for a friendly game of touch football, reminding fans about the importance of being active as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league's youth health and fitness campaign. Filmed on the White House lawn earlier this month by NFL Films, the PSA also encourages viewers to get involved in their communities and remember the importance of service.

"Through United We Serve, I have challenged all Americans to roll up their sleeves and engage in sustained service to strengthen our communities," President Obama said. "For some of us that means volunteering at a soup kitchen or cleaning up a local park. For others, it means taking time to build a playground or volunteering your time to improve the life of a child. No matter how we serve, we find common purpose when we dedicate ourselves to helping others. This holiday season, I am asking all Americans to find their own way to give back to their communities."

"Thanksgiving is a time when families come together, and it is also a perfect time to focus on the importance of keeping kids healthy and active," said Brees, a PLAY 60 spokesman. "I was honored to spend time with the President on an issue that is clearly important to him. I was also impressed by his wide receiver skills."

Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed $200 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for PSAs.

President Obama launched United We Serve to challenge all Americans - young and old, from every background across the country -- to create meaningful change in their communities by engaging in service that is sustained and focuses on impact. When volunteers commit to long-term service projects in their communities, they build expertise and strengthen the community's capacity to meet its challenges. To learn more about United We Serve or find service projects in specific communities, the President is encouraging everyone to visit www.serve.gov.

In support of NFL PLAY 60, all Thanksgiving weekend games will raise awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic and showcase the NFL and its clubs' commitment to help reverse this trend. Beginning on Thanksgiving Day and continuing throughout Weeks 12-14, teams will designate a home game as an 'NFL PLAY 60' game. On-field elements will include PLAY 60 field stencils, banners and goal post wraps. Teams also will invite 'NFL PLAY 60 youth ambassadors' to run on-field and stand alongside players for the National Anthem. These youngsters were selected by each team for their commitment to being healthy, through programs like NFL Punt, Pass & Kick, NFL FLAG Football and through participation in the NFL-American Heart Association PLAY 60 Challenge.

Fans can visit NFLRUSH.com/Play60 or Serve.gov to learn about volunteer opportunities and how they can get involved.

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