We so often get caught up in and Xs and Os that we forget what NFL players do off the field, and the enormous impacts that they can have in their communities.
The conversation around Falcons DE Vic Beasley tends to follow if he can get back to his 2016 sack potential, but perhaps it should focus more on what he’s doing for his hometown of Adairsville, Georgia.
The Players Tribune highlighted Beasley’s efforts to help his high school and the surrounding area as part of their #TakeAction initiative.
Scholarships. Free football camps. New uniforms.— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) June 20, 2018
These are just some of the countless ways @VicBeasley3 gives back to his Adairsville community. #TakeAction (In partnership with @AmFam) pic.twitter.com/YB24L0lkLX
The video speaks a lot of Beasley’s character and generous heart, because that’s a lot of money for a guy on a rookie contract to be allotting for charitable purposes. But, y’know, you can’t take it with you. It’s rather remarkable that Beasley is already taking such an active role in bettering the place he grew up, and making such a direct impact on the lives of the kids who were once in his shoes.
Our Jeanna Thomas reported on Beasley’s Rally on the Runway event this past April that raised $332,000 to help in the battle against childhood cancer. She shared this takeaway from the event’s host.
“It’s an inspiration to me,” Beasley told The Falcoholic. “I feel like the lessons I get from it are like don’t take life for granted and to be thankful for everything that I have right now and just continue to smile. You see these kids come in with these tough situations, they’re dealt a bad hand and they continue to smile. So that’s encouraging me to do the same.”
Folks often forget that Beasley has already endured a lot in his time in the league; he spent his rookie season at the bedside of a dying father, and suffered great personal losses before joining the Falcons. That link just above details the piece Ty Dunne at Bleacher Report wrote on Beasley right at the quarter-point of that 2016 season, and it’s a stirring testimony to the person you cheer for when he’s putting pressure on opposing QBs.
It’s okay to wish for Beasley to live up to more of his draft potential after a down 2017 (having talked to him briefly last fall, he’s more than aware that his numbers weren’t were they needed to be), but you can’t knock the guy elsewhere. He’s a phenomenal ambassador for the franchise, and is out in the community doing what should make us all proud to celebrate his sacks on Sundays.
The Falcons are full of caring, attentive players who do so much to use their wealth and influence in positive ways; Beasley a prime example. Football will always go past the fourth quarter, and often, the greatest victories the sport can achieve happen off the field.
Here’s to Vic, and the work he’s done, and continues to do, for his town, and to all the Falcons who use their resources to leave a place better than when they left it.