The Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive end Chris Long was originally donating six game paychecks to provide education for students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, but now he’s decided to give the rest of this year’s salary instead.
“My wife and I have been passionate about education being a gateway for upward mobility and equality,” Long told The Associated Press. “I think we can all agree that equality in education can help affect change that we all want to see in this country.”
According to Spotrac.com, Long signed a two-year contract, $4,500,000 with the Eagles that includes $500,00 signing bonus, $1,500,000 guaranteed and he will have an average annual salary of $2,250,000. Just in 2017, Long will earn a base salary of $1,000,000, his $500,000 signing bonus and a $750,000 roster bonus.
Long has started a new campaign for education called, “Pledge 10 for Tomorrow” and it’s something that also encourages fans and business to donate and to match his contribution. His campaign has selected four other organizations who will focus on making education “easily accessible” to underserved children.
The four organizations involved are in three of the communities Long played in during his NFL career- St. Louis, New England and Philadelphia and the city that raises the most during the season will receive an additional $50,000 donation.
“There’s a lot of opportunities to help out and they’re wonderful organizations,” Long said. “We have such a great platform as football players and hopefully fans get behind it.”
Long grew up in Charlottesville and starred in St. Anne’s-Belfied high school before his college days. Long decided to start the scholarship after he saw the violent protests in Charlottesville in August.
“Our hometown is a wonderful place and I feel like people got the wrong idea about what the residents of Charlottesville are all about,” he said.
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