Howie Long had a fruitful 13-year NFL career, making eight Pro Bowls and gaining fame with the Los Angeles Raiders back in the ’80s. His sons Chris and Kyle have followed in his footsteps, not only as pro ballers but as leaders and humanitarians.
Its obvious Howie taught his sons well. That was solidified when Chris, a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, was the first white player to openly support his African-American teammates by standing with teammate Malcolm Jenkins, and putting an arm around him, as he raised his fist during the national anthem.
A trio of #Eagles continued its national anthem protest before Week 1 kicked off in Washington. https://t.co/BSgFSsh1aU
Chris and Kyle, who grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, watched their quiet hometown turn into the center of violence, bigotry and racial division during the protests and rallies that turned tragic back in August. At the time, the brothers were very vocal in saying that the community will not be defined by those actions and will emerge stronger.
The brothers called the actions of some of the protestors in their town, “despicable.”
“I haven’t seen statistics, but I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of people voicing those white supremacist sentiments were from out of town,” Long said at the time. “The majority of the people that were defending our hometown against ideals like that were from Charlottesville, or students. It’s disheartening, but I really think it’s desperation for those folks to feel threatened by us doing the right thing.”
Chris Long Donates Game Checks From Six Games To Fund Scholarships In Charlottesville https://t.co/6g48TgKKqE #NFL
Now Chris has put his money where his mouth is. ESPN reports that he will donate his first six game checks this season to fund scholarships for students in his hometown.
According to reports, the scholarships, which will provide two students from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia with a seven-year, all-expenses-paid school program, are meant to “promote equality through education.
The country definitely can use more of that. One of the tragedies of modern America is that costs have made a quality education unattainable to many. Chris signed a one-year deal with the Patriots and ended up a Super Bowl champion, so he knows about blessings.
“In August, we watched people fill our hometown streets with hatred and bigotry,” he said in a statement. ” (My wife) Megan and I decided to try to combat those actions with our own positive investment in our community.”
The scholarships will be distributed by Long’s alma mater, St. Anne’s-Belfield School.