Daily Sports Smile: Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs hosts block party

uffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs walks off the field after the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022.
Victoria Hernandez
USA TODAY Sports+

Buffalo Bills star Stefon Diggs is used to the intense support from Bills Mafia every Sunday. But the wide receiver felt grateful this offseason thanks to support he felt during his Black on the Block festival in Washington, D.C.

The event, typically based out of Los Angeles, was free to the public and included 80 Black-owned businesses gathering in Franklin Park in the heart of the nation's capital last weekend. The Pro Bowler's brother, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, was also in attendance.

"Thanking God for alignment. Direction is far more important than speed," Diggs wrote in an Instagram post showing pictures from the event. He was grinning widely from the stage. 

"As you can see I was so happy this turned out dope," he added.

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Diggs took some time to explain his reasoning behind giving back to the community through events like Black on the Block. 

"I lost my father when I was 14, so I watched my mom raise me from then on to being a man," he said in a video he posted to social media. "That's my Super Woman, my Super Man and Super Woman. So definitely shoutout to the single mothers and women in general just making it happen. So I kinda wanted that to always be my focus and impact because it's hard doing it by yourself. You never know who needs help. So any time I can reach somebody or help somebody, I wanna do that."

The organizations's CEO Lanie Edwards is an entrepreneur and founder of Los Angeles-based clothing line Shop Cosier. For her, the festival was intended to create opportunity for others.

“It can be really hard for Black-owned businesses, specifically small Black-owned businesses, to get their foot on the ground,” she told the The Washington Post. “To be able to provide a platform for them to do that consistently, every single month is our goal.”

Besides bringing entrepreneurs together, the event also facilitated ways to give back to the community. Diggs stood on stage as the office of Mayor Muriel Bowser donated a check for $250,000 to a Ward 8 Community Investment Fund. Ward 8 is an area of the nation's capital that experiences a high rate of poverty and violence.

Black on the Block returns to LA July 24 with "100+ amazing Black-owned businesses, immersive domes, food court, music, tattoos, free teeth whitening, photo booth, and more," according to the organization's social media.