Each week during the regular season, the NFLPA will recognize one active NFL player who has demonstrated a commitment to making a positive impact in his community, naming them the Community MVP. We will be profiling these players each week, honoring them for their commitments off the field.
Today the NFLPA announced that Houston Texans’ defensive back, Lonnie Johnson, was their Week 3 Community MVP.
Two weeks ago, 14-year-old Curtis Walton Jr. drowned in a pool in Johnson’s hometown of Gary, Indiana. When Lonnie heard about the tragedy, he stepped up immediately and volunteered to pay for the funeral expenses.
I am humbled and honored to be chosen as this week’s NFLPA Community MVP,” John said in the press release. “Growing up in Gary, Indiana, I saw multiple friends die young due to gun violence. When I heard the news that a teen from Gary had passed away in a terrible accident, I felt motivated to help.”
The Texans rookie reached out to Curtis’ mother and high school about covering the funeral costs for the teenager who played football at Calumet New Tech.
I know the heartbreak of losing someone all too well,” said Johnson, who lost a high school track and field teammate to gun violence. “I saw this as an opportunity to help my city that has shaped who I am today. At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have accomplished; it’s about what you’ve given back.”
And Johnson has been giving back since becoming a Texans, surprising children at the Houston Texans YMCA, helping to pack meals up at Huddle Against Hunger and hosting kids during an activity day.
In honor of Johnson being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to the Gary Steelers Pop Warner Little Scholars.