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.”
We’re inching closer to the big day (Fly, Eagles, Fly!) and growing our list of players whose commitment to social causes rivals their hustle and determination on the field. We’re highlighting 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.
Today, we’re covering Defensive End Brandon Graham who will be rooting for his own Team Graham by launching a very special online campaign this year to support activities for high school students. Tight End Zach Ertz creates a unique holiday season for families by inviting them to take an inside look into an Eagles world.
Brandon Graham, Defensive End
As he grew up in Detroit, Brandon Graham used football and his supportive parents to escape difficult circumstances he faced. Now, he and his wife, Carlyn, are dedicated to helping kids escape those same environments. The couple founded Team Graham, an organization that supports underserved youth facing hardships as they strive to become better people. Team Graham hosts the Select 100 Camp, which gives five boys and five girls from each of Detroit’s 20 public schools the opportunity to participate in a football camp that focuses on team building, healthy eating and other valuable skills. The organization also hosts a celebrity bowling fundraiser to support non-profit organizations in Detroit.
This year, Graham is also giving a fan the opportunity to watch the Eagles at the Super Bowl. Those who donate $10 to Team Graham will be entered in a chance to win two lower-level Super Bowl tickets as well as up to $4,000 in travel expenses. Those who wish to donate have until midnight on Feb. 2 to do so.
Zach Ertz, Tight End
As the holidays approach each year, volunteers gather at the Bringing Hope Home’s office in Malvern, Pennsylvania to wrap hundreds of donated gifts. Videos on the organization’s website show families, some of whom are clad with Eagles jerseys, smiling as they package the gifts and deliver them to the homes of families struggling with a cancer diagnosis.
Since its founding in 2008, Bring Hope Home has supported over 4,000 local families and raised over $4.7 million in assistance through their Adopt-A-Family program, a program that Zach Ertz partners with each year. After doing all of a family’s holiday shopping, Ertz hosts the family at a home game, where he gives a tour of the locker room and hands out presents.Zach Ertz and Eagles teammates hosted a private yoga class for Living Beyond Breast Cancer at the NovaCare Center