Former Detroit Lions Linebacker, DeAndre Levy, his wife, Desire Vincent Levy, and popular Detroit-based apparel brand, Detroit Hustles Harder, have partnered up for the third edition of the cause-related t-shirt line, Our Issue.
Our Issue is an apparel line that pairs activism and accountability for catalytic change. Created in 2016, the Our Issue initiative was designed out of the idea that a society free of sexual assault and domestic violence is not just a women’s issue, it is our collective issue.
“Our Issue is dedicated to the multitude of women I know and love, and the ones that I don’t know that have the unfortunate experience of sexual violence,” said DeAndre. “As men, and as a society, we owe them more and need to take ownership of the role we play in supporting the culture that makes excuses for rape, harassment, and all forms of violence against women and girls.”
The mural features the faces of three Detroiters and plays on the theme of the three wise monkeys’ directive: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. It shows caution tape slipping from their mouths and ears as if to urge people to speak up, listen to survivors and believe them.
“As a survivor myself, I am thankful to and for the brave Detroit leaders like the SASHA Center, Wayne County SAFE, and Enough SAID that commit their time, energy, and resources to providing services for victims, advocate for policy, and affirm the voices and experiences of survivors every day,” said Desire. “They are heroes amongst us.”
The Levys started a Crowdrise fund-raiser and will personally match donations up to $25,000. The proceeds benefit Enough SAID (Sexual Assault in Detroit), an organization created to pay for the testing of 11,341 unopened rape kits found in an abandoned Detroit Police Department storage unit, as well as Wayne County SAFE, and the SASHA Center, which provide services and care to survivors.
Levy grew up in Milwaukee and played for the University of Wisconsin before the Lions drafted him in 2009. He played eight seasons until the team released him to free agency in March 2017 following a string of knee and hip injuries. Among the more outspoken and socially conscious players, Levy said he has had enough of the NFL.