Former President Barack Obama took to Twitter Friday to highlight several individuals who inspired others through their actions in 2017.
Among them was Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long, who earlier this season announced he would donate his entire 2017 salary to charity.
Long made well-earned headlines with the announcement he would use his final 10 game checks to launch a new charity. That gesture followed how Long already had donated his first six game checks to fund scholarships in his native Charlottesville, Va. It also meant Long is playing the entire 2017 NFL season for free.
“I always thought maybe it would be cool to play for free,’’ Long said at the time. “I did. I thought it would be a personal test to see if I’m really the guy I’d like to be.’’
Long signed a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the Eagles this past offseason, a contract that came with a $500,000 signing bonus and $1.5 million in guaranteed money. Now in his 10th NFL season, Long, 32, has made upward of $100 million, which he uses to lend perspective to playing for free this season.
“I’m lucky,’’ Long said in October. “I’ve been lucky. This isn’t a heroic effort. I just really believe my platform is going to shrink from here on out.
“If I’m not playing football in a couple of years and I do this, it’s not going to have the same effect. It’s evidenced by the fans that have gotten behind it and the money we’re going to be able to raise.’’
Long’s final 10 game checks will help launch Pledge 10 for Tomorrow, “a campaign that will promote educational equity and opportunity for underserved youth in the three NFL cities he’s played in – Philadelphia, Boston, and St. Louis,” per a report.
Related slideshow: 2017-18 NFL season (Provided by photo services)
Philadelphia Eagles v Oakland Raiders – Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters