This Week in NFL Do-Goodery: Marcus Peters, Mike Evans, Colin Kaepernick & more
As the trudgery of the preseason turns into the adrenaline of the regular season, our minds will naturally be consumed with nervousness, fantasy football and irrational anger at referees. But let us not forget about inspiring players who are using their platforms for change by servicing their communities.
This roundup begins our second month of spotlighting all the good deeds from players we can gather (we know there a lot more that get zero publicity and we’re working on finding those), and we’ve already had a cascade of altruism even during the tightly packed days of training camp. While the regular season isn’t exactly relaxing, players do get an off day (and often 2 later in the season) and thus you will see even more charitable events, hospital visits and other forms of giving. For this week’s edition, let’s begin in the city of stars…
Rams cornerback Marcus Peters spent his off day this week distributing more than 300 backpacks stuffed with school supplie to children at Central Park Elementary School in Inglewood. The Los Angeles Times was on the scene and captured Peters interacting with students and staff and helping to break down the tables and reload them back into the SUV on site. “It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to make strides to where we all want to go in the world…. Everybody needs education, so you take care of basic needs,” Peters told the Times.
Earlier this week Bucs wideout Mike Evans, a community stalwart who has previously appeared on this list, used his football talents to help raise money for the families of the victims of the recent shooting at an EA tournament at Jacksonville Landing. An avid gamer, Evans lent his celebrity to bolster funds for the families of Elijah Clayton and Taylor Robertson, the two gamers tragically killed. “My agency and the Bucs helped me with the opportunity and it’s the least I can do,” Evans told Buccaneers.com. With my platform, I like to help all those who need it. I’m looking forward to playing the Madden game and raising money for the families.”
Mike Evans faced off against EA Sports Madden 18 Champion, @young_kiv, to raise money for the Jacksonville Fallen Gamers Fund. Their sole purpose is helping the families of those lost and injured during the Jacksonville Landing shooting.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 3, 2018
Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick made global news this week when he was unveiled as a new face of Nike in conjunction with the brand’s 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” slogan. Kaepernick’s print ad, along with a powerful video in which he tells viewers, “Don’t ask if you dreams are crazy. Ask if they are crazy enough” refueled a lingering cultural battle and became the largest story in the lead-up to kickoff. But the untold story, per Fortune, is that Kaepenrick’s contract with Nike includes a sizable donation to his Know Your Rights campaign. Since last summer Kaepernick has hosted ten private events across the country empowering innercity youth in areas such as positively interacting with law enforcement, learning about available resources and embracing their heritage.
Browns wideout Rashard Higgins recently donated backpacks stuffed with school supplies to Ruby Shaw Elementary School in Mesquite, Texas where Higgins attended as a kid. The Browns matched Higgins’ donation to provide even more Shaw students with these essential tools for learning.
Patriots long snapper and lieutenant junior grade in the United States Navy Joe Cardona was awarded the Ron Burton Community Service Award, the Patriots’ highest team honor. In addition to his Naval duties, Cardona organized 200 military members to attend last season’s Falcons-Patriots game and regularly participates in the team’s community service initiatives. “Joe is a Patriot in the highest sense of the word, on and off the field,” said Bob Kraft in a statement following the announcement. “Service to others is of principal importance to him, first to our country, as well as to our team and to our community.”
Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu recently donated 250 backpacks fully stuffed with supplies to the Stafford Boys and Girls Club and also met with the students to discuss the importance of education.