NFL star donates 6 weeks of his salary to fund scholarships in Charlottesville

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long is from Charlottesville.

Philadelphia Eagles' Chris Long (56) stands beside Malcolm Jenkins (27) as he raises his fist during the national anthem before the team's NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Philadelphia Eagles' Chris Long (56) stands beside Malcolm Jenkins (27) as he raises his fist during the national anthem before the team's NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

On Tuesday, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long announced he is partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia and Long’s alma mater, St. Anne’s Belfield School in Charlottesville, to provide two, seven-year scholarships to middle school students in Virginia.

Long and his wife, Megan, decided to fund the scholarship program after the deadly white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville last month.

“In August, we watched people fill our hometown streets with hatred and bigotry,” Long said in a press release. “Megan and I decided to try to combat those actions with our own positive investment in our community.”

The two scholarships will be administered by St. Anne’s Belfield to two members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia. Long, who will be funding the scholarships with his first six game checks of the NFL season, hopes that the funding will play a small part in promoting “educational equity in the community.”

Long has been one of the few white NFL players who have taken a public stand against social injustices and racial inequality in the past couple of years.

Last season, after he won the Super Bowl as part of the New England Patriots, Long said that he would not be visiting the White House with his teammates because of his disapproval of President Donald Trump.

“My son grows up, and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is, I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey dad, why did you go when you knew the right thing was to not go?’,” Long said in a video explaining his decision.

After the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Long was vocal about his frustration that Trump attributed the violence to “both sides” equally.
“This isn’t a political issue. This is right and wrong,” he said. “I believe you’re either on one side or the other. For me, being from Charlottesville, nobody wants you to sit idly by and not say anything. And I wish there were more categorical denials from some very important people in this country who have had the opportunity to strike it down and didn’t.”
Later that week, Long became the first white NFL player to participate in the national anthem protest when he put his arm around his teammate, safety Michael Jenkins, as Jenkins raised his fist during the anthem.