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Chris Long to fund scholarships in Charlottesville

Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long announced Tuesday that he will donate his first six game checks this season to fund two scholarships -- seven-year, all-expenses paid programs -- in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.

"In August, we watched people fill our hometown streets with hatred and bigotry," Long said in a statement sent out by The Chris Long Foundation. "[My wife] Megan and I decided to try to combat those actions with our own positive investment in our community."

Per the foundation, the scholarships, which will be awarded to two members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, will be set up and administered by Long's alma mater, St. Anne's-Belfield School.

"We want these scholarships to be reflective of what the 'Cville' community is really about -- supporting one another, social equality and building up those in our community who need it," Long said. "We hope our investment will change the lives of the students who receive the scholarship and in turn, those students can positively impact others."

Long went to high school in Charlottesville and attended the University of Virginia. He was a vocal critic of white nationalists who gathered in Charlottesville in August to protest the removal of the General Robert E. Lee statue.

"It's been a hard week for everybody," Long said at the time. "I think it's not just a hard week for someone being from Charlottesville. It's a tough week for America. I've heard a lot of people say, 'You need white athletes to get involved in the anthem protest.' I've said before that I'll never kneel for an anthem because the flag means something different to everybody in this country, but I support my peers."

Before a preseason game last month, Long stood next to Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins with his arm wrapped around in support as Jenkins raised his fist during the national anthem in protest over racial injustices in America.

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