George Kittle (Tight End)
Aside from breaking franchise records, Kittle has proven to be an exceptional leader as demonstrated by his recognition as the 49ers 2019 Len Eshmont Award recipient, voted on by his teammates and given to the player who exemplifies the inspirational play of 49ers alum Len Eshmont. Along with his dedication to professional football, Kittle has been a long standing supporter of the United States military. As someone who has loved ones in the Armed Forces, including his Uncle Pat and Grandfather Carl, Kittle has been passionate about supporting our country's military by dedicating his time and resources to hundreds of active duty members, veterans, and their families since he entered the league in 2017. "I love the United States of America, and I know that we wouldn't be able to do all the things that we do as just everyday American citizens without our military, and all the things they've done past and present," Kittle said. While the team has a strong relationship with the military community and has coordinated countless military appreciation events, Kittle has gone out of his way to surprise and delight service members and their families on his own time. Kittle has built a strong relationship with the Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS) after first being introduced to them after the 2018 Pro Bowl. With the TAPS families, Kittle participated in a woodworking project, making American flags as a memento of the experience. In episode nine of "Hidden Pearls Podcast'', an audio series by his family, the Kittles reunited with the TAPS family from that woodworking project to amplify the organization's work. Since then, he's connected with many other TAPS families - such as the LaMar family who he highlighted during My Cause My Cleats by having them painted on his cleats in 2020, and most recently in August 2021 when Kittle hosted a group of 20 young adult survivors to watch training camp practice for one of their first social experiences since the start of the pandemic. Whether he is shaking every single service member's hand as they stand to order on the goal line at the Salute to Service game, or helping make everlasting memories for military families through special surprises and visits, Kittle demonstrates his unwavering devotion for the U.S. Armed Forces during any opportunity possible.