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Public Statements

Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the sponsors of this bill. I want to thank the gentleman from Ohio for sponsoring this bill and bringing this bill to the floor.

Indeed, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the pride of Canton, Ohio. It is also the apple of the eye of all Americans.

When we think of the National Football League, we immediately think of the grand names in football history. The gentleman from Ohio named the initial inductees. Initially coming into my mind are individuals such as Jim Brown or Jerry Rice or Johnny Unitas or Joe Montana, Walter Payton. These are household names that are housed now forevermore in the Hall of Fame and the National Football League.

But we forget that the National Football League and the Hall of Fame says: We're giving back. We're not going to just be involved in keeping the fame and the records of the NFL. We understand that we are an American sport, and so we're going to give back to the American people. Especially our young people, our children who, like me, growing up, idolized many of the players that are now in the Hall of Fame.

So what the Hall of Fame does is to make sure that it gets involved in programs that the gentleman from Ohio just talked about, Camps for Kids, to help promote nutrition and physical fitness.

We often hear in this society that we're talking about, people are too obese. Well, the NFL recognizes that, and the NFL Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as a result, makes sure there are programs promoting good nutrition, eating good foods, exercise.

Particularly it has been very important to me when I look at the Hall of Fame's Black History Month program, which details the African American experience. I can recall growing up with my father talking about Marion Motley with the Cleveland Browns at the time and the history that he played in helping and promoting others. And this gives us all-around history about every American.

Kindergarten through 12th graders, a literacy program. We talk about the need to make sure that our young people are able to compete. You can't compete if you're not literate. The Pro Football Hall of Fame makes sure that every child that it can touch will also be a reader.

We want to be competitive in health and history and language and arts and math and science. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a program that it takes throughout America to help make that happen.

And so this Commemorative Coin Act will help them, at no cost to the taxpayers, run these programs and preserve its facilities so that it can continue to build a legacy of a strong American game, but of also making sure that all of America's children and all of America's people have an opportunity to grow up, to be literate, to be healthy, and to be competitive globally with anyone.

So indeed, I urge all of my colleagues to vote ``aye'' for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, and I reserve the balance of my time.


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