Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductees Philanthropy Work
Philanthropy, Professional Athletes

The Philanthropic Impact of the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductees

Last night, the 2018 NFL season kicked off with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. Since the first Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1963, the NFL’s Pro Football Hall of Fame has inducted 310 members. Tomorrow night, 8 more members will join the ranks. We took a look at each inductee and the philanthropic impact they’ve had over their careers. Thanks to Sporting News for providing the briefs on the football achievements of each inductee.

Bobby Beathard

Sporting News Summary: Beathard was a highly regarded personnel administrator during his 33-year career which included stints with the Kansas City Chiefs (1966-67), Atlanta Falcons (1968-1971), Miami Dolphins (1972-77), Washington Redskins (1978-1988) and San Diego Chargers (1990-99).

Beathard has donated plenty of memorabilia to the Hall of Fame in honor of his upcoming induction and supported the charitable initiatives of his employers throughout his front office career.

Robert Brazile

Sporting News Summary: Brazile was a preeminent linebacker in the NFL during a career that spanned from 1975 to 1984 with the Houston Oilers.

Brazile hails from Mobile, Alabama where he continues to give back since wrapping up his Hall of Fame NFL career. He served as a middle school special education teacher and raised money for local non-profit organizations like the Franklin Community Health Center. Each year, Brazile hosts an annual golf tournament to raise much needed funds for the community health organization with more than 21 locations around the Mobile region. This year’s fundraiser will be held on August 18, 2018. He also hosted a Robert Brazile Roast with former Houston Oilers teammates to raise money for the local DePelchin Children’s Center.

Brian Dawkins

Sporting News Summary: A nine-time Pro Bowler, Dawkins was named All-Pro and All-NFC five times. In addition to being named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s, Dawkins is a member of the Eagles 75th Anniversary Team and the Exclusive NFL Defensive Club (players with at least 35 career interceptions and 20 career sacks).

During his playing career, Brian Dawkins hosted multiple charity golf tournaments to raise money for charities like the Burn Prevention Foundation. During the 2004-2007 seasons, he partnered with Turkey Hill to donate $1,000 for each interception he made to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He donated $10,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after his twin daughters’ first birthday. He was extremely active in the Philadelphia community and participated in various team philanthropy activities. In 2009, he was awarded the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

After finishing out his esteemed career with two season on the Denver Broncos, Dawkins transitioned to the NFL Front Office with the Philadelphia Eagles after his playing career ended. He served as an ambassador from the Philadelphia Eagles for the Beyond Sport Foundation and participated in the Beyond Sport Summit. He is still active in the Philadelphia community and has donated his time to raise money for charity through Charity Buzz. He recently stepped down from the Eagles front office to pursue philanthropic opportunities. He told NBC Sports Philadelphia that he plans to start a non-profit “to inspire hope and increase the minds, bodies and souls of many”.

Jerry Kramer

Sporting News Summary: The guard was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round (39th player overall) of the 1958 NFL Draft. He starred for the Green Bay Packers from 1958 to 1968 playing most of his 11-season career under the direction of Hall of Fame Coach Vince Lombardi.

After retiring in 1968, Kramer has written books, started business ventures and dabbled in broadcasting. He founded Gridiron Greats, a charity that provides grants and medical assistance to former NFL players in need. He’s worked for various other charities over the years and raised money for friends who have suffered health issues as well. He told Deadspin in 2012, “It’s probably more important and more critical to me to be a good human being than a rich human being.”

Kramer is an advocate for NFL player safety and has spoken out on the repetitive head trauma that offensive linemen like himself take on a regular basis. He has been an active follower of advances in stem-cell research that could provide solutions to players suffering from NFL related injuries.

Ray Lewis

Sporting News Summary: A 12-time Pro Bowl selection, Lewis received first-team All-Pro honors eight times during his career. He was recognized as the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and 2003, and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

Known for his dance moves and on-field toughness, Lewis has been active in the community since his 2012 retirement. During his playing career, Lewis was active in the Baltimore community with his Ray Lewis 52 Foundation, adopting families in Baltimore City for the holidays, hosting an annual celebrity auction and bowling tournament, sponsoring Thanksgiving food drives on North Avenue in Baltimore and Ray’s Summer Days camp for children in low-income families.

In 2013, he traveled to Tanzania to raise money for TackleKili, an organization focused on the need for clean water in East Africa. He planned to climb Mount Kilimanjaro but an injury sidelined him from the trek.

Lewis has since been a part of the creation of several non-profit organizations. The L2 Family Foundation helps single parents reach home ownership. The Power52 Foundation offers job training for Baltimore-area residents in renewable-energy. The Ray of Hope Foundation enlists game-changers to record personalized inspirational videos for those in need. He established the  to provide personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth.

In 2016, Lewis partnered with Baltimore 1000 to create job opportunities in STEAM sectors to grow economic empowerment in the city. Baltimore 1000 is the first extension of the Ferguson 1000 initiative, founded in 2014 on the heels of the unrest following the Sterling Brown shooting. The goal of Ferguson 1000 initiative was to create 1000 jobs and provide training to people living in low-income communities.

Randy Moss

Sporting News Summary: Moss caught 10 or more touchdown passes in nine seasons and had 10 seasons with 1,000 yards receiving. A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Moss received first-team All-Pro honors four times and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

While Moss has run into some issues with his own nonprofit foundations in the past, he has remained active in the community. While he played with the Minnesota Vikings, each year he invited a child who had beat cancer to attend training camp with their family. He used to take bus loads of kids from low-income families each year to an amusement park.

Now living in Charlotte, NC, Moss runs a free boot camp twice a week for members of the community to stay active. Some sessions see more than 500 people in attendance. He also has organized a charity Spartan Race in 2017. He regularly supports former and current NFL players charity events, attending Brian Robinson’s charity weekend in Minnesota this past June.

Terrell Owens

Sporting News Summary: Named All-Pro five times (2000-02, 2004, 2007) and an All-NFC choice four times, Owens was selected to six Pro Bowls. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of 2000s.

While Owens won’t be attending the induction ceremony and festivities in Canton, he certainly gives back to the community during his free time. He created the Terrell Owens Catch a Dream Foundation, an organization that provides resources like food, clothing and shelter to underprivileged families with children. He has supported a number of organizations during and after his playing career, including the Alzheimer’s Association, the Andy Roddick Foundation,  the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Leeza’s Place and Stand Up To Cancer.

After his grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1996, Owens has hosted several events to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s research. In 2009, he was awarded the first Young Champions Award from the Alzheimer’s Association at the Sixth Annual National Alzheimer’s Gala in Washington, D.C. for his work raising awareness about the disease. He even testified before Congress to raise awareness.

He has been a regular supporter of the Food Bank of Western New York, hosting a large scale campaign to raise money for the organization called “81 Tackles Hunger”. While he played in Cincinnati, he hosted the “81 Celebrity Bowl”, a birthday celebration that raised money for the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. In 2015, Owens competed on The Celebrity Apprentice to raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and in 2017 he signed up for MTV’s The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars to raise money for the KY Cares Foundation. His “What TO Do” campaign works to empower and motivate youth around the world and Owens travels globally to host workshops and speak to groups. A fashion line is also in the works around the campaign.

Tomorrow, Owens is hosting his own induction ceremony in Chatanooga, TN that is free and open to the public.

Brian Urlacher

Sporting News Summary: An eight-time Pro Bowl selection, Urlacher received first-team All-Pro honors five times and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

Last but certainly not least (we did this alphabetically), is Brian Urlacher. Urlacher may have shied away from the spotlight off the field, but he made a significant impact in the Chicago community. For five consecutive years, Urlacher worked with the Bears community relations department to provide $500 Target shopping sprees to 50 underprivileged families. Urlacher’s one condition for attending the event? No media. Urlacher was a regular visitor to local Chicago children’s hospitals during his playing days.

The standout linebacker purchased 120 tickets to every home game to donate to different Chicago charities. He appeared on Wheel of Fortune, won over $47,000 and donated it all to charity. He’s hosted an annual celebrity golf tournament and banquet in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he now resides and owns a car dealership.

When asked about his charitable nature, Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune, “It was great for those people, but I didn’t do it because I wanted them to know about it. I did it because I wanted to.”

We tip our hats to the wonderful achievements that these players have made off the field as well as on it. Congratulations to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018! 

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