NFL player determined to grow education opportunities in hometown

Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles is donating the rest of his year’s salary in effort to increase educational equality.

Long, a defensive end in his first season with the Eagles, has already donated his first six game checks to give two scholarships for students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.

His next 10 game checks will be used to launch the, “Pledge 10 for Tomorrow” campaign, which includes four organizations that branch out to three communities in effort to grow equal education opportunities.

Long is taking initiative with the platform he has access to in the NFL to promote positive changes in society, starting with the children of America receiving equal education opportunities.

Although athletes in various professional sports advocate giving to charities and organizations, Long is one of the few who is making the most of his professional career to provide for his cause.

Athletes donate and help with various societal issues but do not continuously speak out and push their followers to do the same.

I believe more athletes who have the money to give should be more involved with society and the various problems Americans are facing. It is not only equal education, but so many more such as job opportunities, environmental advances, and the overall well-being of cities and towns.

Long is not the top earning player in the NFL by far, which presents the question of why can’t the top paid athletes throughout the league do more?

It is not a rule that players are forced to help society in any way they can, but it should be encouraged. Instead of buying mansions, sports cars, and other luxuries, players can do more for the people struggling in society or put their resources toward creating a better environment and healthy city or town they came from.

I continually read and hear about professional athletes who grew up in ghettos or middle-class neighborhoods where life wasn’t always the easiest. Their families, siblings, and friends didn’t always get the newest or nicest things because parents were working to put food on tables.

As professional athletes who get paid more than enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle, these players could make a difference by helping families and neighborhoods that struggle like those players once did so long ago.

  That’s not to say only the athletes who struggled at a young age to find better opportunities should be the only players to help. As a whole, leagues should be pushing everyone within their systems to help various causes to create a better society for future generations to be more successful.

With athletes beginning to use their platform to create and promote social change in different aspects in our American culture, it is only a matter of time before fans and followers begin to join the movement of creating a better world.

Long is creating a positive example of changing society for the future of America. He is creating a movement people will eventually follow when they realize this is allowing kids to receive an education that will benefit them in the future.

Even though his organization is meant to help his hometown of Charlottesville, it is a big step for the city, and Long did not have to do this. Hopefully, his actions will push others to be more involved around the country and give everyone a chance to receive an education they deserve.

If Long was able to come to this decision of helping society in any way he can, whether money is necessary or not, I hope more athletes realize there is an endless amount of opportunities to help our society grow and better itself.

Author: Dominick Puente

Sports writer and photographer. Journalism student and sports fanatic.

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