Long’s Altruism Reaches High Places
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - As a former No. 2 overall pick with a father who happens to be a Hall of Fame defensive lineman the Eagles' Chris Long is used to being in the spotlight.
The notoriety, however, kicked up a notch Friday when the former leader of the free world came across Long's many charitable efforts this season, most notably Long's decision to donate his entire 2017 salary to educational outreaches in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Former President Barack Obama was a bit late to the party when retweeting an older Philly.com piece by Paul Domowitch, outlining Long's decision to donate his first six game checks, since amended, but the impact of the two-term POTUS' reach was evident when Long's phone starting blowing up.
“It’s cool," Long admitted after practice Friday at his locker in the NovaCare Complex. "At the end of the day that’s an honor that would fly across one of our former President’s radar. That’s the whole point of doing good things in the community, spreading positivity and it’s an honor to be mentioned.”
Long first gave six game checks to provide scholarships for students in Charlottesville. When they was set to lapse in October, he decided to donate the rest of his salary to launch the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign, which encourages fans to also make donations to improve education opportunities.
Long has given $1 million and the matches have reached $900K, according to Long.
“I’ve been lucky. I’ve made a lot of money playing a game," Long said. "I’ve been humbled by the opportunity and just being able to play football for a living. While it’s not an earth-shattering amount of money, it’s more about for me doing what I love for something that’s important to me than it is the actual number. Then the fans get behind it (the cause), matching it essentially kind of proves the point, which is that, (when) we all work together, there’s a lot we can agree on to try and improve.”
With Obama on board and offering free publicity, the numbers could keep climbing.
"I's gratifying and means we're doing some good things and hopefully can just keep spreading the word," Long said.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen