This Week in NFL Do-Goodery: Marshawn Lynch, Alex Tanney & more
Another week in the NFL. Another hotly contested off-field issue to overshadow the on-field stuff. This time it was old friend, the now on-hold national anthem policy. Every time the issue rears its ugly, unnecessary head, a segment of the population seizes the opportunity and hurls ridiculous insults at the players with insinuations that they are solely there to entertain.
There is never a bad time to spotlight the generous acts of NFL players but this week feels particularly apt. This edition of our roundup of the week’s philanthropy and human decency includes one player who possibly saved a life and another helping kids properly prepare for school. As always, let us know if there’s anyone we missed, and hit us up with future nominees
– Raiders RB MARSHAWN LYNCH continued his deep commitment to the East Bay by hosting a FREE football camp for 500 children in the Oakland-Alameda area. Lynch and his Family First Foundation made his 12th annual camp even more special by gifting each kid a pair of cleats so they could continue playing football. You can see the affection shared by Lynch and the children in this highlight video put together by the Oakland Raiders:
– Saints DT MITCHELL LOEWEN played real life superhero when he helped a man escape an SUV that had flipped over after crashing from the fourth story of a New Orleans parking structure. Loewen was brunching with his wife and child when he witnessed the crash and heard the man screaming upon approach. Others joined the scene, helping Loewen flip the car over and rescue the driver.
“I felt like I was in a movie. At the time, I had extreme confidence. I had no hesitation at all about what needed to be done. And it was just that kind of feeling and the adrenaline pumping. I mean, that’s life to the fullest right there. I felt like I was being led by God to go help that man,” Loewen told ESPN. (Thanks to @J_RodS92 for the heads up)
– Giants QB ALEX TANNEY raised $25,000 for multiple sclerosis research and awareness during Tanney’s inaugural Tackle MS event at his alma mater, Monmouth. Last weekend’s event included a football camp, golf outing and camp, and signing as several NFL players appeared to show their support. Money raised is being donated to the Terry Wahls MD Research Fund at the University of Iowa. You can also donate.
Tanney’s dedication to MS is rooted in family. His sister-in-law, Julia, was diagnosed with MS around the time he began his NFL career and he’s witnessed its effects.
– Chargers OT JOE BARKSDALE donated 1,000 bookbags containing school supplies to children in Detroit ages Pre-K to 12th grade. The Detroit native wanted to give the children an educational tool that he knows some families struggle to afford.
“I mostly do it because I want to make the kids happy and alleviate some of that financial pain from the parents,” Barksdale told the Detroit Free Press
– Courtesy of our friends at Blitzed NFL Radio, let’s turn back the clock to May (before we had this weekly spotlight.) Announcing the Bills third-round pick this year alongside Andre Reed and Fred Jackson was longtime superfan “Pancho Billa,” also known as Ezra Castro. The pick was HARRISON PHILLIPS, a defensive lineman from Stanford. Last fall Castro was diagnosed with stage four cancer, as tumors spread from his liver to his lymph nodes. Phillips, among getting wind of this sad backstory, sent Castro a very special birthday message in hopes of brightening his day:
— Harrison Phillips (@horribleharry99) May 31, 2018
– Bonus: French forward KYLIAN MBAPPÉ plays that other kind of football very very very well. The 19-year phenom became the second-youngest player to score a goal in a World Cup and is largely considered the biggest breakout star of the tournament. As a result of France’s World Cup victories, Mbappé was awarded bonuses that totaled to approximately $500,000. Mbappé donated every cent to a French organization that introduces sports to 1,000s of disabled children, many of them hospitalized.