Chris Long '04, a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, was recently named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for his commitment to community issues including clean water, military appreciation, combating homelessness, and youth literacy.
The award, established in 1970 to recognize an NFL player for excellence on and off the field, was renamed in 1999 to honor Walter Payton and includes a donation of $250,000 to the United Way in the honored player's name, and up to $250,000 to a charity of the player's choice. Long's donation will be directed to The Chris Long Foundation, which holds as its mission "to support bright futures for communities and the individuals that make up those communities."
During the 2017 – 2018 season, Long donated his entire salary with the Eagles to fund education initiatives in the city where he has played (St. Louis, Boston, and Philadelphia), as well as to fund two scholarships at St. Anne's-Belfield School. This year, Long donated his first four game checks to his "First Quarter for Literacy Project."
Photo courtesy of John Blake. Chris Long '04 pictured with Grades 5 - 8 thank you card for Chris Long Scholarships, 2017.