Walmart Says Store Mishandled Christmas Donation from Khalil Mack Foundation

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2020

Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack starts his pass rush during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

A Walmart spokesperson said Tuesday that part of an $80,000 donation made by Chicago Bears pass-rusher Khalil Mack's foundation to pay off customer layaways at a store in his hometown of Fort Pierce, Florida, was not handled properly.

According to Catie Wegman of Treasure Coast Newspapers, Walmart spokesperson Delia Garcia said: "We have determined the store did not handle the transaction in keeping with Walmart's guidelines and have taken corrective action."

Per Wegman, Walmart held an internal investigation and found that after the Fort Pierce store's layaways totaled only $60,000, store management allowed employees to use the remaining $20,000 to place items on layaway for themselves.

Garcia later clarified to Wegman that "the 'transaction' was flawed, but employees didn't 'misuse' the donation" and said "a 'representative' of the foundation—not the foundation itself—knew and approved of employees benefiting."

An employee of the store who did not benefit from the layaway reportedly blew the whistle on the violation by alerting company officials.

Walmart has not yet publicly identified who was involved in the scandal, nor has it said whether anyone involved was or will be disciplined.

Mack was a standout football player at Fort Pierce Westwood High School before going on to star collegiately at the University at Buffalo. The Oakland Raiders selected him with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

After spending the first four years of his career with the Raiders—and being named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2016—Mack was traded to the Chicago Bears prior to the 2018 season.

Upon arriving in Chicago, he signed a six-year, $141 million contract extension.

The move paid immediate dividends for the Bears, as Mack was named a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro after registering 12.5 sacks and helping lead Chicago to an NFC North title in 2018.

He made the Pro Bowl for the fifth consecutive year in 2019 after finishing with 8.5 sacks, and he now has 61.5 sacks during his six-year NFL career.

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