Chris Long will make $1 million this season from the Philadelphia Eagles, but he announced that he will not collect any of it as income. The defensive end will donate each of his 16 game checks to charities focused on education.
“I’m playing the entire 2017 NFL season without collecting income because I believe that education is the best gateway to a better tomorrow for EVERYONE in America,” Long wrote in statement on Pledge It, while also encouraging others to donate.
“I think we can all agree that equity in education can help affect change that we all want to see in this country,” he told the Associated Press.
Before the season, he pledged his first six game checks to provide scholarships to a school in his hometown, Charlottesville, Virginia. He recently announced that the additional checks will go to educational charities in the three NFL cities in which he’s played: St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia.
Long played the first eight seasons of his career in St. Louis, and won a Super Bowl last season with New England. He declined to attend the Patriots’ invitation to the White House. Long has compiled 222 career tackles and 60.5 career sacks.
He started the Chris Long Foundation several years ago. The charity, in part, helps find drinkable water to countries worldwide. He is the son of Howie Long, a former NFL player and Hall of Famer.
Long grew up in Charlottesville and attended the University of Virginia. He spoke out about his frustrations regarding the Neo-Nazi protests, noting to NBC that it “isn’t a political issue. This is right or wrong.” Long has also supported his teammates‘ anthem protests, receiving media attention when he put his arm around his black teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, who raised his fist in protest during that national anthem.