In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses NFL players who not only perform well on the field, but off the field as well, through their community service.
Every year, the National Football League (NFL) recognizes those players who exemplify excellence on and off the field. It is easy to watch every Sunday and see how a football player demonstrates his excellence on the field, but many of the notable off-field activities go unnoticed, unless they are damaging to someone’s character.
However, many NFL players demonstrate admirable personal character by donating their time to local charities. There are stories about Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, who besides being an impact on the field, plays a role in children’s lives by making weekly visits to various children’s hospitals around Seattle.
Wilson’s teammate, running back Marshawn Lynch, also exemplifies excellence on and off the field with his charity, Fam 1st Foundation, which he started with Joshua Johnson, who was a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers. The organization works on improving the lives of children by reinforcing the importance of education, literacy, and self-esteem. One of the things they do is hand out the “Reach for Your Dreams” scholarship each year. The academic award is presented to a student who has maintained a commitment to reaching goals and has maintained a positive outlook on life while being a role model in the community, sometimes in the face of adversity. Among other things, the program also has SAT/ACT and financial workshops for those children in the inner city.
Walter Payton Man of the Year Award
The NFL recognizes one player each season for his community service with the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. This season, the award went to Thomas Davis, a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. Davis founded the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation (TDDDF) to promote programs that enhance the quality of life of 2,000 children and their families, according to his nomination. Davis also hosts an annual football camp that teachers kids proper football skills while emphasizing healthy eating and exercise.
The TDDDF also has a Youth Leadership Academy that meets during the academic school year. Among some of the events coordinated by the TDDDF including a Thanksgiving dinner at a battered women’s shelter and a Christmas gift giveaway for those in need.
These are just a few cases of professional athletes who are giving back to their communities.
Be good to each other,