Professional football players sign million dollar contracts. In fact the average professional football players salary is roughly $2.1 Million. Knowing this has many people wondering if and what professional sports organizations and players are doing to help those in need during this pandemic. With layoffs, school closings, church and congregation closings and businesses losing a lot of money, or having to close their doors for good, a lot of people are asking for help. During this time many have been questioning celebrities and athletes wondering if they are using the money that they make to help those who are suffering. With these questions I started my research. I have been a proud Patriots fans my entire life, and year after year football season and the New England Patriots fill up our hearts over and over again! We Bostonians are proud of the New England Patriots, but the most proud I have been to be a Patriots fan was just recently in discovering all of the many ways in which the New England Patriots organization has come together to help those in need. The Patriots organization and players have all contributed in many ways during COVID-19 in moving and outstanding ways!
The ‘All In Challenge’
Robert Kraft, Chief Executive Officer of the New England Patriots, is a name we hear very often as Boston sports fans, but not usually for the reasons that I am about the share. As of January 2020 Robert Kraft has a net worth of $6.9 Billion. When the country is in such a time of need, many of us wonder if those who make the most money in the country are helping and if so, what are they doing? I know this is a question that has crossed my mind which is why I felt compelled to share with you all the information in which I have found hopeful and comforting.
On May 10th 2020, Robert Kraft joined the “All In Challenge” by deciding to donate his Super Bowl LI Ring, which raised more than $1 Million for the “All In Challenge.” The “All In Challenge” is a challenge that gives athletes and celebrities a place to raise money toward the relief funds for COVID-19. Anything athletes and celebrities raise all go toward helping those on the front lines, and those impacted by COVID-19. In joining this fund Kraft chose the Super Bowl Ll ring which was won in the Patriots victory to the Falcons which was a unique victory, one where all odds were beat, and where a comeback was made. The ring brought in a bid over $1 Million, which made this donation the highest-earning item in AIC. The joy that the win over the Falcons brought to the people of Boston was unbelievable, but even this is nothing compared to what the $1 Million will do to fight the war against this virus, saving lives and preventing further spread of COVID-19. This ring is symbolic of the comeback that we are going to make united in the city of Boston and all over the world.
The Patriots did not only donate to the “All In Challenge” with the Super Bowl ring but the entire team joined in by donating a special road trip experience to whomever bid the highest. This road trip would consist of meeting players, and all access passes to a game of their choice, as well as attending a team warm up and spending time with Patriots players before and after game! Money raised toward this special road trip would go to feeding those struggling with hunger during this time, for example Meals on Wheels, Feeding America, No Kid Hungry, and World Central Kitchen.
The Boston Resilency Fund
This next donation that I came across in my research touched my heart a little bit extra. The Boston Public School System is close to the hearts of many of our families in Boston as our children and other loved ones are shaped academically and socially during all of their time spent at school! COVID 19 has changed school in a major way right now for children who have had to change their daily routines and way of learning overnight. Robert Kraft purchased laptops for Boston Public School students as a way of helping the City of Boston. These laptops gave children the opportunity to learn who otherwise may not have had access to education during this time. Kraft donated $250,000 to the Boston Resiliency Fund, which funded the laptops allotting so many children have the opportunity of virtual learning.
Read Between The Lines
Another Education Initiative in which the Patriots have been involved in has been the Read Between the Lines Program, which is helping learners to become excited about learning at home, and encouraging them to continue to learn to read during the pandemic. Patriots players, cheerleaders and Revolution players have all been a part of creating fun, engaging learning challenges. The players have recorded and shared videos of themselves reading early elementary and elementary children’s books for students to listen and read along at home! The Patriots have also incorporated different at home reading and writing lessons to make learning fun for students. During this time it is so important for our professional athletes to step up like this and stand as positive role models working with the education system to help our youth to learn and grow!
New York City
Kraft and his family contributed directly to the healthcare system in New York City. NYC had the highest amount of confirmed cases and deaths in the United States, therefore Kraft and his family making New York a first priority is extremely admirable. Robert Kraft and his family transported about 1.8 million respirator masks to help all of the front lines during this pandemic, who would have otherwise been lacking resources to keep themselves safe.
Robert Kraft and his family did not stop there. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has started, the devastating issue to domestic violence began to rise to an all time high. Instead of ignoring this or letting it be “someone else’s problem”, the Kraft family stepped up to the plate in a big way once again! Kraft donated $100,000 to aid the Casa Myrna mission during this difficult and possibly deadly time for so many individuals and families. Casa Myrna plays a huge role in helping victims of domestic violence escape abuse and find safe housing, counseling, food and different supports of all kind. Because of donations like one the that the Kraft family had made, the Casa Myrna mission is able to provide all of their services to victims for free.
During a time where not only our community but the entire world needs help, people like Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots players and team have showed how much heart they have yet again, but this time, off of the field. Kraft, his family, and the Patriots team have gave financial help to those in need, aided front line workers with healthcare supplies, helped children in Boston in a learning initiative, helped victims of domestic violence, and have done so much to use all of their resources in efforts to help those affected by COVID-19. A Patriot by definition is a person who supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. During this time COVID-19 is the enemy, and the Patriots and its ownership have held true to their team name in positively impacting and helping thousands of people, and ultimately protecting and making our community and country a better, and safer place. I personally want to commend Robert Kraft and The New England Patriots organization for never letting us down and always reminding us that whether it be on or off the field having heart, hope, and strength will take us so far, together!
Photo Credit to Patriots.com