As Citizen editor Larry Platt said this week, Sunday’s Super Bowl is about more than just Eagles vs. Patriots. It’s a cultural referendum for our time. “For there is no team more aligned with Donald Trump than the New England Patriots, both personally, and in terms of values represented,” he wrote.”And there is no team in professional sports as socially conscious as our Eagles.”
Leading up to the big game (Fly, Eagles, Fly!) we’ll profile two players a day whose commitment to social causes rivals their hustle and determination on the field. These are players who are using their time, money and platform to make the city and world a better place. In our eyes, that makes them winners no matter what.
Nick Foles, Quarterback
According to the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes healing and justice for victims of child sex abuse, 1 in 10 children in the United States will be sexually assaulted before turning 18. In the Philadelphia area alone, the PCA works with more than 3,000 children.
To Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, these statistics are staggering. “It sort of blew my mind,” Foles said in a video last year for the PCA. “It’s our duty as people in this community to help others.”
That’s why Foles partnered with teammates Jordan Hicks and Trey Burton to donate $50,000 last year to the PCA, a donation that they are now hoping the public will match through the hashtag #Give5ToPCA.
Foles’ support for those in need began as a student at The University of Arizona, where he became a mentor to four brothers from an underprivileged home in Tucson. Each weekend, Foles would spend time with the brothers, whose names were Aaron, Jose, Chris, and Anthony, and still reaches out to help them in any way he can.
Carson Wentz, Quarterback (injured)
Quarterback Carson Wentz, a dog lover, first witnessed the way service dogs can change the lives of those with physical disabilities after visiting Canine Partners for Life in Chester County. Through his foundation, AO1, Wentz last year donated $120,000 to the organization, to provide companionship dogs for its clients. AO1, which stands for Audience of One, also helps provide service dogs to youth in Philadelphia, and gives hunting and outdoor opportunities to individuals with physical needs in North Dakota, where Wentz grew up.
Last May, Wentz traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with Mission of Hope, a Christian organization that supports families on the island. On the trip, Wentz helped paint houses and filmed a short video to raise awareness of the need and beauty of the people he encountered.
For his continued dedication to the community, Wentz was named the Week 3 NFL Players Association Community MVP this season.May 17, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; during the Eagles Youth Partnership playground build at the Lewis Elkin Elementary School.