Atlanta teacher wins Super Bowl ticket for social justice work

An Atlanta science teacher and football coach praised for helping black male students is getting a big reward for being a good role model.

He's going to the Super Bowl.

Brown Middle School teacher and coach Ernest Davis learned Friday that he had won one of four tickets being given out by the nonprofit Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). The nonprofit surprised Davis at his school with the ticket.

That means Davis will be sitting in the stands on Feb. 3 when the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

RISE also plans to award three more tickets to the big game. They will go to a local high school senior, a local college senior and an Atlanta police officer. The nonprofit hasn't announced the other winners yet, but all four will sit together at the game.

The ticket contest is part of RISE’s initiative to highlight social justice issues during the Super Bowl. The organization wanted to celebrate local residents who have worked to advance social justice issues. RISE uses sports as a way to bring people together to “improve race relations and promote understanding, respect and equality,” according to the organization.

Davis was nominated for the prize because of his work with young black students on the field and in the classroom.

His nomination letter stated: “His awareness of most players living in single parent homes with low socioeconomic backgrounds, leads him to give his time and personal resources to pour into each player and mentor them with so many lacking a father figure in the home. Coach Davis makes it a priority to speak to each player about respecting themselves, promoting self-awareness and making the decision to be the best they can be no matter what obstacles come their way.”