Chris Long, a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, badly wants to change the perception that NFL players protest publicly but don’t do anything to make the world a better place.
How badly? He’s giving his entire salary for this season toward improving educational equity in his hometown and the cities he’s played in.
How much is he donating, and where to?
In total, $1 million. Long had already announced that his first six game checks were going to fund scholarships to a private school in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. The next 10 checks will be donated, by way of his foundation, to organizations supporting education equity in the cities Long has played in: Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis.
The campaign is called “Pledge 10 for Tomorrow:”
“In my 10th year, I want to celebrate the awesome opportunity I’ve had to play football by giving back to the communities that have given me that gift,” Long said in a statement. “Educational opportunity and equity are the best gateway to a better tomorrow for everyone in America.”
Is he just doing this for attention?
Not at all. Long has a history of charitable donations, which he never made public before this season. But now it’s important to him that the public understands that NFL players really do care about their communities.
Long explained to the News Journal last month:
“With everything that went down, a lot of talk about players improving their community and promoting diversity and equality, some questions were, ‘What are you actually doing?’ And so, this is what I’m doing, and hopefully, it’s something we can continue to be involved in.
“The scholarships were going to happen anyway. But I think, to do it publicly, is kind of turning a negative into a positive. There are a lot of positives in (Charlottesville). We do want to promote diversity and equality and educational opportunity. That’s something I’ve been passionate about for a couple of years.”
Long has been outspoken on social issues over the years, and has shown public support for players who kneel or raise a fist during the national anthem in protest of police brutality.