Demonstrates Excellence on the Field
Geno Atkins is one of the top interior defensive linemen in football. He entered 2020 with 75.5 career sacks, the most ever by a Bengals interior lineman. Atkins' eight Pro Bowl selections (in 10 seasons) are the most ever by a Bengals defensive player. Geno has led the Bengals in sacks five times in his 10 seasons and has finished in at least a share of the NFL lead for sacks by an interior defensive lineman five times (claimed it outright three times and shared it twice).
Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts this Year
Atkins donated $100,000 to the Freestore Foodbank to help feed area kids and families during the COVID-19 crisis. The gift provided 300,000 meals to families in need. "We saw a report on the local news about the increased demand at food banks due to the pandemic," he said. "The story tugged at our hearts imagining hard working people now also worrying about what their families are going to eat. We knew we had to help our local community."
The Atkins are also preparing to kick off their 3rd Annual "Atkins Week of Giving" which will take place during the week of Thanksgiving, and will individually honor hundreds of frontline employees, educators, grocery store, restaurant, and other essential workers. Additionally, they will have over 60 meals delivered on Thanksgiving morning to families who have a sick family member and are unable to leave their homes due to the COVID-19 crisis. Several other surprises - including providing four families at Cincinnati Children's Hospital with lifechanging resources – are planned for the 2020 Atkins Week of Giving.
Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past
Geno was named an NFLPA Community MVP for his Atkins Week of Giving in both 2018 and 2019. Each year, this seven-day campaign directly impacts over 350 people in Cincinnati through holiday gifts, donations, dental services, charitable events and other surprises like providing new furniture, paying for car repairs, an annual holiday party at Cincinnati Children's, providing a car to a family in need, and providing blankets to the homeless.
Through his Atkins Week of Giving campaigns, Geno was also nominated as a finalist for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award in both 2018 and 2019, and honored at Super Bowl each of those corresponding years. The Alan Page Community Award is the highest honor the NFLPA can bestow upon a player, and annually recognizes one player who goes above and beyond to serve communities in his team city and hometown.
Geno served as a key ambassador for the American Diabetes Association and was an integral part of their Team Tackle initiative.
Geno visited Washington D.C. on two occasions on behalf of the organization and spent time meeting with congressmen and women on Capitol Hill to discuss the challenges that the diabetes population faces throughout the United States.
Geno has also been an avid supporter of anti-human trafficking efforts, faith-based organizations, shelters, job training services and youth sports performance programs.
Demonstrates Consistency in Positive Character and Models a Lifestyle of Giving Back
Geno is a man of few words but leads with hard work and dedication. He strives to stay out of the spotlight. He does his community work for the benefit of the community and not to seek added attention for himself.
Through his Atkins Week of Giving initiative and other community endeavors, he has quietly yet consistently shared with his followers, fans, and traditional media outlets that there are ways that everyone can make a difference in their communities – that you don't need to be an NFL player to inspire individuals and change the world we live in.