Philadelphia defensive lineman 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 was announced as this year’s winner at the players union’s annual Super Bowl press conference on Thursday. The Whizzer White Community MVP Award is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow on a musician for his profound dedication to positively impact 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 wage to benefit educational equality and social justice reform. Long’s first six-game checks went to funding a scholarship program at St. Annes-Belfield School, where he went to 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 touch 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 food and help. 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 urine.
Long was chosen as this year’s winner from among five finalists following an electronic ballot vote that was clear 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 outside committee of judges across labor, media, sport, and charity from among the 18 Community MVPs awarded during the regular season.
Long becomes the second Philadelphia Eagle to earn this prestigious honor after his teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, was selected as the 2017 winner.
For more information on the Byron “Whizzer” White Community MVP Award, please visit NFLPA.com/community-mvp.
Previous Byron “Whizzer” White Community MVP Award Winners*:
2017 Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia Eagles
2016 Thomas Davis, Carolina Panthers
2015 Chad Greenway, Minnesota Vikings
2014 Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
2013 Charlie Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers
2012 Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2011 Tony Richardson, New York Jets
2010 Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders
2009 Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles
2008 Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Atlanta Falcons
2007 John Lynch, Denver Broncos
2006 Steve McNair, Tennessee Titans
2005 Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
2004 Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2003 Troy Vincent, Philadelphia Eagles
2002 Mark Brunell, Jacksonville Jaguars
2001 Michael McCrary, Baltimore Ravens
2000 Doug Pelfrey, Cincinnati Bengals
1999 Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings
1998 Hardy Nickerson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1997 Chris Zorich, Chicago Bears
1996 Bill Brooks, Buffalo Bills
1995 Derrick Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs
1994 Mark Kelso, Buffalo Bills
1993 Nick Lowery, Kansas City Chiefs
1992 Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
1991 Mike Kenn, Atlanta Falcons
1990 Ozzie Newsome, Cleveland Browns
1989 Mike Singletary, Chicago Bears
1988 Deron Cherry, Kansas City Chiefs
1987 George Martin, New York Giants
1986 Nat Moore, Miami Dolphins
1985 Reggie Williams, Cincinnati Bengals
1984 Rolf Benirschke, San Diego Chargers
1983 Doug Dieken, Cleveland Browns
1982 Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
1981 Ken Houston, Washington Redskins
1980 Gene Upshaw, Los Angeles Raiders
1979 Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys
1978 Archie Manning, New Orleans Saints
1977 Lyle Alzado, Denver Broncos
1976 Jim Hart, St. Louis Cardinals
1975 Rocky Bleier, Pittsburgh Steelers
1974 Floyd Little, Denver Broncos
1973 Andy Russell, Pittsburgh Steelers
1972 Ray May, Baltimore Colts
1971 Kermit Alexander, Los Angeles Rams
1970 Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears
1969 Ed Meador, Los Angeles Rams
1968 Willie Davis, Green Bay Packers
1967 Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers
*Team listed indicate which team player was on at the time he was awarded