The media loves to cover stories about NFL players who make terrible mistakes. It often overlooks the many athletes who invest time and money into giving back and making the world a better place. While character issues, arrests, and drama garner headlines, a lot of good comes from the NFL too.
The most generous football players are superstars, behind-the-scenes players, and everyone in between. But what these NFL players do off the field says more about them than what they do on it.
Although opponents recognize him for abrasive trash talk, Richard Sherman is known off the field for providing for underprivileged children with his Blanket Coverage Foundation. The San Francisco 49ers cornerback should get much as much publicity for doing good off the field.
After losing his mother in an armed robbery, the former NFL running back spent much of his career helping single parents and their children. Warrick Dunn also spearheaded a campaign for every NFL player to donate at least $5,000 to Hurricane Katrina victims. The 44-year-old has received multiple accolades for his charitable work and continues to do as a retired professional athlete.
It’s hard to name an NFL player more generous than Nnamdi Asomugha. The former NFL cornerback has created scholarships, funding nonprofits, and donated medical supplies to Nigeria. Through his organization, The Asomugha Foundation, he travels all over the world to empower uneducated youth.
JJ Watt made headlines when he raised funds for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, not only donating his own money but using his influence on social media to raise over $40 million from donors. The campaign reached everyone from Tom Brady to average citizens who just wanted to help.
While many players donate money, the Philadelphia Eagles defensive end donated his last 10 paychecks to educational institutions across Philadelphia. Focusing on education, Chris Long has also done a lot for his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.
He may have a reputation for dirty hits and suspensions. But, off the field, Ndamukong Suh puts his money toward the right causes, donating millions to his alma mater for scholarships, creating programs to promote wellness, and becoming a world-renowned philanthropist.
Nate Sudfeld may not be the biggest name in the NFL, but he comes from a family who’s philanthropic by nature. His grandfather started Assist International, and he’s used his NFL status to help it. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback travels to Uganda to help orphans. He also works with his former NFL player brother to help the underprivileged.
Marshawn Lynch is beloved by many, but he can often be maligned for some of his antics on and off the field. Regardless, Lynch is known for giving back to his community in Oakland. He’s opened many businesses and invested locally as a way to help bolster the economy. He may be done in the NFL, but it seems like Lynch will give back for years to come.