In September, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long donated his first six game checks to fund scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. CBSSports.com reports that on Wednesday Long announced that he will donate his remaining 10 game checks this season to increase educational equality by launching the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign.
"In my 10th year, I want to celebrate the awesome opportunity I've had to play football by giving back to the communities that have given me that gift," Long said in a statement. "Educational opportunity and equity are the best gateway to a better tomorrow for everyone in America."
"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 equity in education can help affect change that we all want to see in this country."
Long, who signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Eagles in the offseason and has a base salary of $1 million for 2017, has spoken out on social issues affecting the league and its players. He also puts his money where his mouth is, as evidenced by his decision to donate every game check this season.
"If you listen to people who tell you to 'Stick to sports,' I would ask them, 'Do you stick to whatever your occupation is?'" Long said in August, according to Yahoo.com. "People always want to hear from athletes when they agree with them. When we voice a [dissenting] opinion, they have an issue with it. I think that athletes are role models. We should think about what we're saying, then speak. And speak wisely."
The AP reports that Long grew up in Charlottesville and starred in high school at St. Anne's-Belfield before going to the University of Virginia. He was moved to start the scholarship program following the.
"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.