Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long announced Tuesday that he will donate his first six game checks from the 2017 NFL season to create a pair of scholarships for students at St. Anne's-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia.
According to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, Long said in a statement that the donation is his way of fighting back against the "Unite the Right" rally that occurred in Charlottesville in August: "In August, we watched people fill our hometown streets with hatred and bigotry. [My wife] Megan and I decided to try to combat those actions with our own positive investment in our community."
Long was outspoken in the wake of the rally due to his Charlottesville roots, as he attended both St. Anne's-Belfield and the University of Virginia.
Per Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft said he was taking a stand for what he believed in:
"Some people are tired of hearing me tweet because they want me to stick to football but I like to use social media like I was a regular guy because I think I am. I don't tell people to stick to their job when they want to talk politics. And this isn't political. That's the thing. Everybody is trying to turn this political. This isn't a political issue. This is right or wrong. I believe you're on one side or the other. For me, being from Charlottesville, no one wants to see you sit idly by and watch that stuff happen and not say anything. And I wish there was more categorical denial from some very important people in this country who have had the opportunity to strike it down but didn't."
Long was a three-year standout at Virginia before getting selected by the St. Louis Rams.
The 32-year-old veteran won his first Super Bowl last season with the New England Patriots and is in the midst of his first campaign with the Eagles, having registered two tackles and one sack through two games.