NFL players, teams support COVID-19 relief efforts

  • By Around The NFL staff
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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL players and teams are contributing to help those in need to support their local communities.

Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank pledged to continue paying hourly employees under The Blank Family of Businesses following facility shutdowns. Blank has subsequently contributed $5.4 million in funding for immediate and long-term relief to organizations giving support throughout Georgia and Montana.

The Denver Broncos announced they will pay hourly employees, part-time workers and interns based on their regular work schedule, including for any shift or event cancellations.

The Broncos made a commitment to fund 100,000 meals for the community through a donation to the Food Bank of the Rockies.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay encouraged donations to a local food bank. If the link raised $200,000, Irsay pledged to contribute $1 million.

And Irsay followed through with his promise.

Broncos kicker Brandon McManus, through his Project McManus Foundation, has pledged 20,000 meals in addition to the Broncos' donation to support the Food Bank.

Houston Texans pass rusher J.J. Watt and his wife, Kealia Watt donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank to aid relief efforts. The donation will help provide over one million meals.

Watt's Texans are doing their part, as well.

The Ravens and The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundations have gotten together to help a quartet of non-profits, while Baltimore's standout tight end offered a message of unity in these tough times.

The Minnesota Vikings and the Wilf family released on statement on the team website Friday in which they encouraged their fans during these trying times and also combining to donate $500,000 in relief efforts.

"On behalf of our entire family and the Minnesota Vikings organization, we wanted to let you know our thoughts are with you and your families during these uncertain times," the statement began. "The COVID-19 crisis is impacting each and every one of us in some capacity, and your health and welfare, and that of the Minnesota community, is paramount. We are especially concerned for the individuals who are directly affected by the virus, those who are facing financial insecurity, and the healthcare professionals who are at the forefront of stopping this pandemic.

"As an organization, we are committing $250,000 to assist our community in this fight. The Wilf Family Foundations is matching that amount to bring the total to $500,000 for various community causes."

The New York Giants, per NFL Network's Kim Jones, are funding a program at the Meadowlands YMCA that will provide free childcare for emergency response personnel for the next 10 weeks.

The Seattle Seahawks, along with Vulcan Inc. and the Paul G. Allen Family foundation, announced plans to support the Seattle area's response to the COVID-19 crisis. The support efforts include monetary donations to a number of local causes, a commitment to pay part-time employees affected by event cancellations at both CenturyLink Field and Portland's Moda Center, food donations, and support of local blood drives with Bloodworks Northwest. The Seahawks and CenturyLink Field have committed more than $700,000 to pay part-time employees affected by canceled events.

Redskins running back Adrian Peterson celebrated his 35th birthday with a $100,000 donation from his foundation to his hometown of Houston.

The Redskins have opened up the FedEx Field parking lots for community screening stations.