Philadelphia, PA - Chris Long has been named as the recipient of the 2018 Byron “Whizzer” White Community MVP Award. In recognition, the NFL Players Association will donate $100,000 to The Chris Long Foundation. Long becomes the second Philadelphia Eagle to earn this prestigious honor after his teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, was selected as last years winner.
Chris Long was announced as this year’s winner at the players union’s annual Super Bowl ILL press conference on Thursday. The Whizzer White Community MVP Award is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow on a player for his profound dedication to positively impacting his team city and communities across the country in the spirit of the former Supreme Court Justice for which the award is named.
"I am honored to be recognized by my peers and the NFLPA as this year’s Byron “Whizzer” White award recipient,” Long said. “I am just one of many players this season using our platform to impact the world as proven by the work of the other finalists and my teammates. I hope my efforts and the work of other players continues to inspire fans to take action and be difference makers in their communities.”
The Eagles defender elected to play this past season for free after donating his entire salary to benefit educational equality and social justice reform. Long’s first six game checks went to funding a scholarship program at St. Anne’s-Belfield School, where he attended high school in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Then in October, the 10-year veteran announced that he was donating his last 10 game checks to programs that support educational equality in the three team cities where he’s played so far: Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis. Through the “Pledge 10 for Tomorrow” campaign, he was able to match his own charitable contribution by raising another $1.3 million off of donations by fans and businesses.
These efforts through the Chris Long Foundation, which was established in 2015, marked yet another example of Long’s commitment to using his platform for good and service. After witnessing the suffering in Tanzania while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2013, Long started Waterboys two years later, uniting fans and players around the league to raise funds and awareness to build clean water wells in East Africa. As the staple of Long’s foundation, the initiative has built 31 water wells and raised $1.7 million to date while providing 111,000 people in Tanzania with clean water.
Long was chosen as this year’s winner from among five finalists following an electronic ballot vote that was open to all of his NFL peers from across the league. The finalists – Long, Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals), Colin Kaepernick, Von Miller (Denver Broncos) and J.J. Watt (Houston Texans) – were selected by an external committee of judges across labor, media, sport and charity from among the 18 Community MVPs awarded during the regular season.