One NFL player is putting his money where his mouthpiece is.
The charitable initiative encourages people to make donations to improve equal education opportunities. Long selected four organizations based in the cities he has played in whose missions focus on making education more accessible to under-served youth. The city that raises the most money during the season will receive an additional $50,000 donation.
“There’s a lot of opportunities to help out, and they’re wonderful organizations,” Long told Associated Press. “We have such a great platform as football players, and hopefully fans get behind it.”
The veteran defensive lineman has 10 more games left. He has already given the first six game checks this year to provide two scholarships for students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, following the violent protests there in August. That means Long is giving away an entire year’s worth of his salary.
“My wife and I have been passionate about education being a gateway for upward mobility and equality,” Long told the AP. “I think we can all agree that equity in education can help effect change that we all want to see in this country.”
Long signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Eagles, including a $500,000 signing bonus and $1.5 million guaranteed, according to the AP. His base salary in 2017 is $1 million.
Well, as Pink Floyd once said: “share it fairly.”
But in all seriousness, Chris Long, who is the son of NFL Hall-of-Famer Howie Long, has long been active with issues outside of football. He established the Chris Long Foundation in 2015 and refused to go to the White House this year after winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots.
Long is just one of the NFL players to give up some of his salary this year. Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson gave his first game check to three team employees whose houses were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.
What inspiring actions from these two men. Even though most of us can’t give up a year’s salary to charity, or even an entire paycheck, it’s a reminder that there are so many important organizations that need our help.