Chris Long, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end, plans to donate his first six checks of the season to scholarships for students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.
In an effort to promote equality through education, the scholarships will provide two students with a seven-year, all-expenses-paid school program.
The decision came about after Long and his wife, Megan, felt moved to make a difference following the hate acts in Charlottesville this summer.
“In August, we watched people fill our hometown streets with hatred and bigotry,” Long said. “Megan and I decided to try to combat those actions with our own positive investment in our community”
Long spoke out calling the actions of some of the protesters “despicable” following a series of white supremacist rallies which led to violence.
Long’s alma mater, St. Anne’s-Belfield School will administer the scholarships to be awarded to two members of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia.
While on the Ryen Russillo Show on ESPN Radio, Long discussed in depth his motivation to use his game checks to fund the scholarships.
“I thought it would be good to kind of put my money where my mouth was and take it out of the check that I get for doing something that I love,” he explained. “I’m not taking a ton of money relative to NFL standards, but any little bit helps in your community and for me, we were just trying to turn a negative into a positive.”
Long also showed support for teammate Malcolm Jenkins’ protest against racial injustice. Jenkins has been raising his fist in the air during the national anthem and Long has been by his side with an arm around him.
“I’ve said before I’ll never kneel for an anthem because the flag means something different for everybody in this country, but I support my peers,” said Long. “And if you don’t see why you need allies for people that are fighting for equality right now, I don’t think you’ll ever see it.”
After a turbulent summer in Charlottesville, Chris Long’s commitment to positivity will soon be making an impact on the city and, soon, two fortunate students.