What to Know
- Eagles defensive Chris Long will wind up playing this season for free after donating $1 million in salary.
- Long gave his first 6 checks to his hometown of Charlottesville, Va. His last 10 checks will go to education programs in towns he played in.
- "This isn't a hero thing," Long said. "It's nothing like that. It's honestly just that I want to put my money where my mouth is."
Chris Long is now playing for free this year.
The Eagles' veteran defensive end, who had already pledged to give away his first six game checks of this season for scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, is now giving away the final 10.
This season, Long had a base salary of $1 million. All of that money is now going to fund the education of others.
Still want him to stick to sports?
Long, 32, on Wednesday morning announced he's giving away his final 10 checks this season to four organizations he has identified "whose missions focus on making education easily accessible to underserved youth while also providing students the support they need to develop strong social and emotional character."
Those four organizations are based in Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis, the three cities he's played for during his NFL career.
"In my 10th year, I want to celebrate the awesome opportunity I've had to play football by giving back to the communities that have given me that gift," Long said in a statement. "Educational opportunity and equity are the best gateway to a better tomorrow for everyone in America."
With the donation, The Chris Long Foundation also announced the creation of the "Pledge 10 for Tomorrow" campaign, which hopes Long's donation will be matched by pledges. For those who wish to pledge money to the cause, click here.
Since arriving in Philadelphia this offseason, it's been pretty clear Long is one of the more socially aware and active players in the Eagles' locker room. He's been outspoken on social issues but is now proving he's not stopping with words. He's putting money and effort into improving communities he cares about.
"I've been lucky," Long said after donating his first six game checks earlier this year. "I've made a lot of money in my career, so it's not like I'm scrapping check to check. This isn't a hero thing. It's nothing like that. It's honestly just that I want to put my money where my mouth is."
Houston's J.J. Watt was the runaway leader for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year award after raising millions for Hurricane Harvey relief, but Long would certainly be deserving too. It's not unprecedented for the award to be split among two players. In fact, Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning shared it just last year.
But Long isn't giving away his entire salary for an award. He's doing it because he cares. He's doing it to make a difference.
He's using his platform to change the lives of others. Forget sticking to sports.