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Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will not take home a dollar this season because he wants to use the money to help others.
Long is putting his entire $1 million base salary behind his belief that education opens doors for all Americans.
He announced Wednesday that he is donating his final 10 game checks from this season to organizations supporting educational equity and opportunity in Philadelphia as well as Boston and St. Louis, where he previously played with the Patriots and Rams.
"I'm playing the entire 2017 NFL season without collecting income because I believe that education is the best gateway to a better tomorrow for EVERYONE in America,'' Long wrote in a statement. "I'm encouraging fans, businesses and every person with a desire to join in my pursuit of equal education opportunities for all students to make their own pledge."
He is hoping to double the money he is pledging with his final 10 game checks by urging people in Philadelphia, St. Louis and Boston to donate to his "Pledge 10 for Tomorrow" campaign to help students.
Long had previously pledged his first six checks from the 16-game regular season to fund two scholarships in Charlottesville, Virginia, his hometown and the site of his college alma mater, the University of Virginia.
"We want these scholarships to be reflective of what the 'Cville' community is really about - supporting one another, social equality and building up those in our community who need it," Long said in a statement last month. "We hope our investment will change the lives of the students who receive the scholarship and in turn, those students can positively impact others."
"I've made a lot of money in my career, so it's not like I'm scrapping check to check," he added, according to NBC Philadelphia. "This isn't a hero thing. It's nothing like that. It's honestly just that I want to put my money where my mouth is."
Long is putting money behind his words after being outspoken about many social issues, including the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August.
He also draped his arm on teammate Malcom Jenkins in support when Jenkins raised a fist during the national anthem as part of NFL players protesting police brutality and systemic oppression.
Long becomes the latest professional athlete to put a significant amount of money toward education. Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James announced in 2015 that he would pay for hundreds of qualifying students from his hometown of Akron, Ohio to go to college on four-year academic scholarships.
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