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Givers News & Events 5min read

Celebrating Five of the Most Generous Football Players

With the Super Bowl fast approaching, we eagerly anticipate watching football players compete on the field. However, the biggest impact many of them make is off the field. We have watched NFL players all year choose to be generous givers. And because we love to celebrate giving and generosity wherever we see it, we’ve chosen five NFL players as Givelify’s MGPs — Most Generous Players.

Top 5 (+ 1 retired) Most Generous NFL Football Players

1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara, are a power couple in the world of sports and entertainment. They are also very generous when it comes to giving back. This season, they donated one million meals to Americans affected by the coronavirus crisis. Wilson is also a regular at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he has dedicated countless hours of his time visiting patients.  His foundation, Why Not You, supports multiple children’s causes. 


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A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson)


2. Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys

Thick necked and soft-hearted Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee announced that he was donating $150,000 through his own foundation to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County. “These kids are incredible,” Lee told NBCDFW. “They face adversity everyday and they do it so well, but facing hunger is something they shouldn’t have to do. Helping the Boys and Girls Club to do that, that’s something we wanted to help with and we hope that others will help too.” 


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A post shared by Sean Lee (@50_seanlee)


3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints quarterback and saint Drew Brees donated $5 million (that bears repeating, $5M!) to coronavirus relief. And that was just in 2020! He started his Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 in support of cancer victims. The list of other charities he has supported goes on and on. Let Drew’s breezy generosity inspire you to give. 


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A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees)

>> Related Article: African American Athletes Making Philanthropic History <<

4. JJ Watt, Houston Texans

Hold that line! In March of last year Texan’s defensive player JJ Watt made big plays for Texas on and off the field by donating $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank. In a commencement address at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, JJ spoke to the young graduates about being human. “No matter how big you are,” he said, “no matter how strong you are, no matter how tough you may be, everybody needs to ask for help at some point in their lives. We could all use a helping hand.” He challenged the audience to something bigger. “This is an incredible place that we live in,” he said. “It’s an incredible time. If we each do a little bit, if we each try and help each other out, if we’re each not afraid to ask for help, we can do some unbelievable things.” JJ, we think you’re unbelievably generous. 

5. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Number one in our hearts, number 15 on the field, Patrick Mahomes is simply the full package. He’s got everything to love and root for this Super Bowl! This 6’3” 25-year-old from Texas is raising money in order to improve the lives of children. His foundation, 15 and the Mahomies Foundation (My homies, get it?), set a goal for Patrick’s birthday, which was in September. The foundation wanted to raise at least $15 from 1500 donors. Last we checked, he was at 2399 donors! The money will go to initiatives that focus on health, wellness, and communities in need, including the East Texas Food Bank.

6. Chris Long, Retired 2019

Though he may be retired off the field, he’s definitely not retired in our hearts. How can you celebrate football philanthropy without a nod to the most generous player of all time, Chris Long? Beyond creating a foundation, in 2017, Chris Long “made history by winning a Super Bowl while playing for free. The Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman donated his entire 2017 base salary of $1 million to charity.” 

A personal favorite charity is Waterboys, a nonprofit started by Chris Long that gathers NFL players and their fans to provide clean water to Tanzanians through digging wells.


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A post shared by Waterboys (@waterboysorg)

Super Size Your Giving

Givelify celebrates inspired giving anywhere we see it, and we’ve seen a lot of giving from athletes this year. In an unsure world, one sure thing is that we all need a little help from our friends. Make Super Bowl Sunday your Super Bowl of Giving to honor the great players who are changing the world, one simple, joyful gift at a time. 

Download the Givelify app and search by cause to share your generosity with organizations that are changing the world! 

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About the Author

Sarah Braud strategic brand storyteller. As the Sr. Content Producer at Givelify, Sarah is on a mission to create content people love to read - the kind of stuff people want to talk about at the dinner table. Her work always has two goals: to create with authentic tic excellence and to connect people to themselves, others and the Other. You can find her on LinkedIn.

Sarah Braud