Too often it seems like the sole preoccupation of pro football players is money. The salaries of NFL players are remarkably high, and the lives these players lead tend to be even more high profile. Cars, parties, women, and bling seem to get as much spot light as the careers of those adorned with them do. Not all players are caught up in the love of money and material objects, though. The NFL has quite a few players who reach out and give back to their communities and promote charitable causes. Many of these players dedicate a lot of time and work into the causes that they advocate.
The Most Giving Players
London Fletcher, who is in his 16th season with the Washington Redskins, receives as much press for his good deeds as he does for his impressive career. Fletcher founded the London Bridge organization, based in Cleveland. London Bridge works to address, bring to light, and assist with challenges faced by children of underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds by utilizing a mentor system. Fletcher’s organization works with communities in North Carolina, Ohio, New York and Washington D.C. In addition to London Bridge, Fletcher advocated tissue and organ donation through the Heather Trew Foundation.
The Chicago Bears wide receiver, Brandon Marshall lends a strong and much needed voice to the cause of lifting the stigma of mental illness in the U.S. In particular, Marshall advocates Borderline Personality Disorder, which he himself has. His foundation Project Borderline works to educate, advocate, and fight the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder. This disorder is characterized by emotional instability, reckless behavior, and disregard for safety of self and others among other things. Marshall’s foundation strives to meet stigma head on and create conversation on the little talked about and rare disorder.
After Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Saints Drew Brees made it his mission to help restore the city. The Brees Dream Foundation donated over $17million since 2003 to help restore parts of New Orleans after the hurricane, with an additional $1million donated directly to victims of the devastation. The Brees Dream Foundation swung into action again after Mega Storm Sandy and raised $2million for the cause. In addition to disaster relieve Drew Brees is dedicated to helping the less fortunate and improving the quality of life for those in need around the country.
These are not the only big givers in the NFL, though their causes are among the most unique. Each of these men is dedicated to causes that strive to help improve the fabric of our society in a real way. By advocating mental illness reform, focus on disaster relief, and giving chances to the overlooked these men and their foundations target issues that are hard for society at large to discuss, and often become overlooked. By lending their voices and using their fame as a platform they use their means far better than many. It is a rare person who still dedicates themselves to what is right and the needs of others when their own needs are more than met. These players deserve recognition and should serve as role models not just to their fans, but to others with the same means that do far less.